BRONX — Penguin enthusiasts can run — or waddle — over to the Bronx Zoo to catch a glimpse of a baby penguin.
The chick, a fairy penguin, is the first of its kind born at the zoo. A colony of the birds was brought over from Taronga Zoo in Sydney as part of a new exhibit in 2015.
Fairy penguins are the smallest of the 18 penguin species native to coastal southern Australia and New Zealand. The chick, which hatched on May 10, weighed about 25 grams — that's about the weight of four quarters.
The baby penguin will only grow to about 13 inches tall and two to three pounds.
Fairy penguins lay their eggs in burrows dug in sand, natural cavities or under thick vegetation. Chicks lose their downy plumage about 50 days after they hatch.
The species live in mild marine waters and feed on fish, cephalopods and crustaceans. Climate change and human activities are a threat to their populations in the wild.
The Bronx Zoo and Taronga are working on a joint breeding program for the penguins. The Bronx birds will help ensure genetic diversity in the U.S. little penguin populations.