We’re excited to announce that two kororā / little penguin have just hatched at the Zoo - the first hatched on Saturday 24, with the second arriving on Sunday 25 June. Both chicks are the offspring of Snapper and Roimata – the same parents of little penguin Tamāroa who hatched in September last year.

Our veterinary team say that both chicks are vocal, keen for their kai, and are already standing on their legs – all great signs of healthy, strong chicks! In these early stages, both birds are being cared for by our skilled veterinary team which includes feeding them a ‘fish slurry’ (blended up fish, water and vitamins) until they are big enough to digest whole pieces of fish.

We’re stepping in to care for these chicks as the Zoo’s rescue colony, in a large part due to their disabilities, have not successfully reared their own offspring in the past. Our ultimate goal is to have a self-sustainable colony of little penguins hatched at the Zoo. If you missed our video explaining this process, you can watch it below. 

All going well, these penguin chicks will be integrated into the kororā colony in future, just like their older sibling Tamāroa. To help with this process our team will be as hands-off as possible. At feeding times, a model penguin is used as a ‘stand-in’ for the parents and audio is played to help the chicks associate feeding times with other penguins.

You’ll be able to watch the chicks as they grow at our vet hospital viewing gallery! Listen out to our Zoo PA for feeding times on your next visit.


Rearing a kororā (little penguin) chick

In this video, we follow our birds team leader Carl and bird keeper Casey as they explain the decision to step in and rear this chick, and the process from hatching, to successfully rearing and re-introducing Tamāroa to the kororā colony.