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Tulsa Zoo Celebrates Hatching African Penguin in January

TULSA, Okla. (March 15, 2018) – The Tulsa Zoo welcomed the newest addition to its African penguin flock on January 17, 2018.

At almost two months old, the chick is thriving. Last week, the chick enjoyed its first swim, under close supervision, in a small pool behind-the-scenes.

New penguin mom, Keppy, is 26 years old, the third oldest member of the Tulsa Zoo’s penguin flock.

“Keppy became a great-grandmother last year,” said Tulsa Zookeeper Seana Flossic. “We are delighted for Keppy and Rogue, a 9-year-old male, to enjoy parenthood together for the first time. They are doing a great job caring for their new chick.”

Seana Flossic manages the Association of Zoos and Aquarium’s African Penguin Studbook as a part of the Species Survival Plan, keeping records on all AZA members’ flocks. The SSP program makes recommendations on breeding and transfers, for the long-term health of this endangered species.

This chick is the 37th penguin to hatch at the Tulsa Zoo since the African penguin exhibit opened in 2002. The first chicks born at the Tulsa Zoo, Tallulah and Sophie, will turn 15 years old on April 29 and May 1, respectively.

Penguin Chick Facts
• Hatched on Jan. 17, 2018.
• The gender of the chick is yet unknown, but zookeepers believe the baby to be a girl. A DNA sample will be sent to an outside lab to determine the new chick’s sex.
• The penguin chick will occasionally be viewable to zoo guests. Young penguins’ fine, fluffy feathers do not have the same water repellent properties as adults. They are unable to swim well and must be monitored by zoo staff when close to deep water.