Minn. Zoo welcomes first-ever African penguin chick

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The Minnesota Zoo announced the hatching of its first African penguin chick.

According to a news release, the chick hatched on March 2 and has grown from 2.4 ounces to over 1 pound, 6 ounces. Its gender is not yet known.

The penguin is currently being raised by foster parents behind the scenes because the biological parents were not incubating the egg consistently.

Like most other penguin species, African penguins are endangered in the wild. The zoo says oil spills, historical hunting and destruction of their habitat have killed 80 percent of the population in the last 50 years.

Jamie Reese, bird supervisor at the zoo, says penguin staff will begin hand rearing the chick at three weeks old so it can be used as an education animal.

It's unclear when the penguin can be seen in the 3M Penguins of the African Coast exhibit, but a live webcam showing the chick should be available soon.

Earlier this month, a baby two-toed sloth made its debut along the Tropics Trail.

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