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African penguin born to first-time parents at Denver Zoo

The chick is the first of its species born at the zoo in the past three years.
Credit: Denver Zoo
Denver Zoo welcomed its first African penguin chick born at the zoo in three years on Nov. 10.

DENVER — Denver Zoo on Wednesday announced the birth of its first African penguin chick in three years, but to ensure a healthy birth, zookeepers had to pull a bait-and-switch on the first-time parents.

This was the first chick for breeding pair Wesson and Sinclair, and keepers noticed that the egg was extremely small compared with normal penguin eggs, according to the zoo.

To give the little penguin its best chance at survival, keepers switched out the egg. Wesson and Sinclair sat on a fake egg, while the real egg was artificially incubated.

The chick was born Nov. 10, and while it was smaller than expected, it's growing "like a weed" and is right on track in its development, the zoo said.

"All three members of this new family are doing well, and Wesson and Sinclair are great first-time parents," the zoo said.

The chick isn't available to see just yet. It's remaining behind the scenes with its parents for the next few weeks.

But the zoo released a short video of the adorable ball of fluff that you can watch below:

The chick is the first born at Denver Zoo's African Penguin Point habitat, which opened last year and includes a 10,000-gallon swimming pool surrounded by heated rockwork, borrows and nesting boxes. The habitat is located just inside the main entrance to the zoo.

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