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Indianapolis Zoo welcomes two Gentoo penguin chicks

Gentoo Chick 2 with dad.jpg
Posted at 7:08 PM, Jan 07, 2021

INDIANAPOLIS — The Indianapolis Zoo got an early present when two Gentoo penguin chicks hatched just days before Christmas.

On Thursday, the zoo announced the birth of the penguin chicks including one chick that was born to a same-sex pairing the first time that has happened at the Indianapolis Zoo.

According to the zoo, same-sex pairings have also occurred with penguin species in the wild and in other zoos. Zoo officials said the Indianapolis Zoo's two male birds became first-time dads when their chick hatched Dec. 15. A female that is paired with another penguin laid the egg and left it with the all-male couple, who have been caring for it ever since, zoo officials said.

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The second Gentoo penguin chick hatched at the Indianapolis Zoo.

Just like a female-male pair, the two fathers have taken turns tending the nest, incubating the egg and now feeding the chick, zoo officials said.

The other chick hatched a week earlier on Dec. 8, to a female-male pair who are also first-time parents.

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The first Gentoo penguin chick born at the Indianapolis Zoo in December 2020.

The first-born chick weighed 99.7 grams at birth and has grown to 2,000 grams (4 pounds, 6 ounces). The second chick has grown to 1,405 grams (3 pounds, 1 ounce) from its birth weight of 114 grams.

They are the first two penguin chicks hatched at the Indianapolis Zoo and the first for the Gentoo flock since 2011.