The pitter patter of tiny flippers is being heard at the National Sea Life Centre in the United Kingdom as the staff celebrates the hatching of a Gentoo Penguin.
The chick was named Flash due to its speedy arrival just 12 hours after it began ‘pipping’ – the term used to describe how baby birds peck their way out of their eggs.
The hatching is extra special because the parents traveled thousands of miles by airplane to pair up under a global breeding program.
Parents Prince, age one, and four-year-old Hyacinth are providing excellent care for Flash. The chick’s gender is not yet known.
Prince was unlucky in love during last year’s mating season, so the staff was happy to see Prince find a partner in Hyacinth.
Gentoo Penguins are difficult to breed in zoos, because they are particularly sensitive to their surroundings. The staff at the National Sea Life Centre worked hard to get every detail just right within the birds’ habitat.
In the wild, Gentoo Penguins nest on ice-free areas of Antarctica and sub-Antarctic islands. Some populations of Gentoo Penguins have declined rapidly in recent years suggesting that the birds could experience a larger decline from habitat loss, pollution, and illegal collection of their eggs.
See more photos of Flash below.