| 8.7°C Belfast

Edinburgh Zoo welcomes four new penguin chicks

People were able to watch them hatching live on the zoo’s webcams.


A rare rockhopper chick moments after hatching (RZSS/PA)

A rare rockhopper chick moments after hatching (RZSS/PA)

A rare rockhopper chick moments after hatching (RZSS/PA)

The first penguin chicks of the year have hatched at Edinburgh Zoo.

People were able to spot the four Northern rockhopper chicks entering the world on the Royal Zoological Society of Scotland’s webcams.

It is hoped more will hatch over the coming weeks.

Dawn Nicoll, senior penguin keeper, said: “Northern rockhopper penguins are an endangered species so it is really exciting to welcome new chicks to the colony.

“The first 30 days are critical for their development so we’ll keeping a close eye on them at this sensitive time.

“We counted 14 eggs in total and four chicks have hatched so far so fingers crossed there’ll be more good news to come.

“Last year, we welcomed four youngsters, which was the most successful breeding season we’ve had for the species at the zoo for many years.”

The zoo has been closed for over a month now and Ms Nicoll said she is glad people are able to see the animals through the webcams.

She said: “It has been amazing to see how many people have tuned into the webcams so far and fantastic for them to be able to see the chicks as they grow, even if they can’t yet visit in person.

“Being closed means we have no visitor income and it costs £55,000 to feed our animals each month.

“People can help look after our newly hatched penguins and protect their cousins in the wild by donating on our website.”

The Royal Zoological Society (RZSS) is part of a European-wide breeding programme to help safeguard the penguin species.