Penguins given sand, pebbles to build nests
Mumbai: Bamboos, sand and pebbles are what doctors have begun to provide the colony of seven Humboldt penguins at Veermata Jijabai Bhonsle Udyan, popularly known as Byculla Zoo, ahead of breeding months. These penguins are known to breed between March and December and begin building their nests a month or two in advance. Zoo doctors are hopeful that the birds will successfully breed this year.
A zoo doctor said, “The male penguin is the one who brings all the material required for the nest while the female arranges it according to her wish. The female shows whether she is impressed or not with the material the male brings to the nesting area. Since these birds are in captivity, we need to provide them Tragedy at the zoo
July 5, 2018
Mr Molt and Flipper
| It hatched after around 40 days
| Penguin laid an egg
| Chick died due to birth anomalies such as yolk sac retention and liver dysfunction with sticks, pebbles and sand required for their nests”
Zoo doctors have noticed that Mr Molt, known as the most mischevious among the seven birds, steals the nesting material the penguin pair of Donald and Daisy has been putting together, as his own partner, Flipper, is currently molting, which is the process of shedding feathers, and therefore is not in a position to work on their nest.
April and September are known to be the peak breeding months among these penguins. Only if they lay an egg in April is there a possibility of them breeding again in September. Last year, though, it was observed that the pair of Mr Molt and Flipper laid an egg in July and the chick hatched in August, though it did not survive.
“The pair did not breed again last year, probably because the two are very young,” said a source.
Currently, all seven penguins are aged between 3.5 and five years. The youngest among them are Mr Molt and Bubble at 3.5 years. Molt’s partner Flipper is the oldest at five. All penguins, except Bubble, have found partners—Molt and Flipper, Donald and Daisy, Olive and Popeye.
On July 26, 2016, three male and five female penguins were brought to Mumbai zoo from Coex Aquaeium, Seoul, South Korea. They were put out for public viewing in March 2017.