Quick thinking and action by staff at Denver Zoo
and Pueblo Zoo probably saved the life of an African penguin
chick. On March 20, four days past its due date, the chick was assisted with emerging
from its shell by Pueblo Zoo Animal Care Coordinator Melanie Pococke. Pococke
then sought help from Denver Zoo staff in caring for the tiny bird, when the hatchling’s
biological parents at Pueblo Zoo were unable to care for it.
Zookeepers from each zoo met halfway to bring the chick to Denver Zoo where it was placed under the care of experienced parents. The chick’s surrogate father, Durban, and mother, Spencer, are now taking excellent care of their adopted youngster.Zookeepers always prefer animals are raised by their parents or surrogates of the same species. This helps ensure they have the skills to raise their own young. Upon receiving the chick, Durban and Spencer immediately began “brooding” the chick by covering it with their bodies and wings for protection and quickly began feeding it.