Southwest Portland

Zoo's penguin chicks begin exploring their new surroundings

Zoo's penguin chicks begin exploring their new surroundings
Bird keeper Kyla Holligan holds a four month old humboldt pengiun chick at the Oregon Zoo. © Oregon Zoo / photo by Michael Durham.

PORTLAND, Ore. – Five new Humboldt penguin chicks that hatched this spring at the Oregon Zoo have emerged from their nest boxes and are exploring their new surroundings.

For the first time in four years, zoo visitors will be able to see penguin chicks in Portland, said zoo spokesman Hova Najarian.

Humboldt penguins live along coastlines off of Peru and Chile. "They are classified as 'vulnerable' by the International Union for Conservation of Nature, and in 2010 were granted protection under the U.S. Endangered Species Act. Their population is estimated at 12,000 breeding pairs," Najarian said in a news release.

The zookeepers named the five penguin chicks after well-known scientists, conservationists and wildlife experts:

  • Irwin (for Australian wildlife expert and “crocodile hunter” Steve Irwin)
  • Attenborough (for English nature historian David Attenborough)
  • Jane Goodall (for the renowned chimpanzee expert and conservationist)
  • Tesla (for the famous scientist and inventor Nikola Tesla)
  • Linus (for Nobel prize winner and Portland native Linus Pauling).

Penguins start swimming right away, and don’t need lessons, zookeepers said. As you can see in the video below, they’re really enjoying the newly-renovated penguinarium.

Video from Oregon Zoo