A hand reared Humboldt penguin chick, named Bongo, is enjoying visits to the poolside colony.
The baby was rescued by keepers after being abandoned outside the nesting boxes by its mother during a rainstorm.
Four months on, the youngster is being hand fed sprats and growing stronger daily, and keepers are returning the chick to Penguin Bay for a few hours a day, so it can get used to fellow members of the 70-strong colony before moving back permanently.
Team Leader Birds Section, Kellie Piper pictured with Bongo said: “We are keeping Bongo in a wooden pen on the edge of the pool at the moment, so it gets used to the surroundings and the other penguins.
“We haven’t been able to sex the chick yet, it’s a bit too early, but Bongo is coming on well.”
BAD HAIR DAYS . . .
Our adult Humboldts are experiencing a few bad hair days thanks to recent changeable weather.
Kellie explained: “Because we had a few milder days followed by the sudden cold snap, the weather seems to have affected their biological clocks and quite a few of them have got a bit confused and are going through their annual moult now instead of springtime.
“Penguins undergo quite a rapid moult all in one go and can go really bald. Luckily their feathers grow back really quickly, so they won’t look too bad for very long.”