The Akron Zoo has one more resident -- but it took nearly two months to make the announcement official.
"Antia" is the name for an endangered Humboldt penguin born in April at the Zoo, and she's a home-grown product because the egg was fostered at the Akron Zoo after it was sent here from penguin parents at the Columbus Zoo and Aquarium in March. It's a first for the Akron Zoo's history.
"Antia" is still spending all of her time with her parents, Carlos and Penya, but will soon strut her stuff at the Zoo's Penguin Point exhibit.
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(Akron Zoo) An endangered Humboldt penguin was born at the Akron Zoo on April 8, 2012. Not only is the birth significant because Humboldt penguins are an endangered species, but the egg was fostered at the Akron Zoo. The egg was brought to the Akron Zoo from penguins at the Columbus Zoo and Aquarium in late March. It is the first time in the Akron Zoo’s history that an animal has fostered young from another zoo or aquarium.
The chick, named Antia, which means “invaluable” is still in the burrow with her parents, Carlos and Penya, but is expected to emerge any day and will be on exhibit at the zoo’s Penguin Point. Carlos and Penya were selected to foster the egg because they have had successful births at the Akron Zoo in the past.
The Columbus Zoo and Aquarium had several penguin eggs that were laid this spring and called upon the Akron Zoo to help foster some to increase the chances of successful birth of this critically endangered bird. On March 26, 2012, two fertile eggs were transported to the Akron Zoo and placed in the burrows, but only one successfully hatched, which is not uncommon.
Antia currently weighs about 5.5 pounds. Chicks are not able to eat on their own so her parents are still feeding her. The parents are fed four times a day, twice as much as the other penguins at the Akron Zoo. They are fed two varieties of fish, which include capelin and smelt. The parents feed the penguin chicks by eating first and then regurgitating the food into the chick’s mouth. Antia should start eating on her own in a couple of weeks.
The Humboldt penguin is currently an endangered species primarily due to commercial harvesting of guano for agricultural fertilizer. Without nesting locations, Humboldt penguins are in serious danger of extinction. Some estimates indicate the possibility of extinction in the wild in the next 10 years. The Akron Zoo is proud to have these penguins as part of the Humboldt Penguin Species Survival Plan (SSP). The mission of the SSP is to help ensure the survival of selected wildlife species. Through scientifically-controlled managed breeding programs, SSP’s are a proactive approach to preventing extinction. SSP's were formed back in 1981 to help ensure the survival of endangered species. SSP's are managed by the AZA, of which the Akron Zoo is an accredited member. Humboldt penguins are warm climate penguins, unlike their Antarctic relatives. They are commonly found in more temperate climates like Peru and Chile.