India’s first penguin born in Mumbai on I-Day

India’s first penguin born in Mumbai on I-Day

In what comes as a great bit of news, India’s first Humboldt penguin was born in Mumbai coinciding with the Independence Day festivities.

After mating in captivity, one of the Humboldt penguins had laid an egg last month at the Veer Jijabai Bhosale Udyan, popularly known as the Mumbai Zoo or the Byculla Zoo.

This was the first Humboldt penguin to be born in India.

The Byculla Zoo is owned and maintained by the Brihan Mumbai Municipal Corporation (BMC).
Eight Humboldt penguins – Donald, Daisy, Popeye, Olive, Flipper, Bubble, Mr Molt and Dory – were brought here from Seoul in South Korea, in 26, July 2016.

However, Dory could not survive and died on 23 October 2016, because of a bacterial infection.

Last month, the caretakers at the Byculla Zoo found that the nest built by the penguin pair — Mr Molt and Flipper — had an egg. Generally, it takes around 40 days for the egg to incubate.
The special enclosure - is spread across 1,700 sq ft - where temperature range of 16 to 18 degree C would be maintained and the penguins would feed on fish including the Indian mackerels. Water quality is monitored at regular intervals and there are several support systems that have been created.

Within the group, Mr Molt is the youngest male and Flipper is the oldest female.

There are two mating seasons: March-April and October-November. The Humboldt penguins pair up during the entire mating period. After mating, a female penguin lays eggs in a month and a half, and both parents take turns to incubate them.

The Humboldt penguin (Spheniscus humboldti) (also termed Chilean penguin, or patranca) is a South American penguin, that breeds in coastal Chile and Peru. Its nearest relatives are the African penguin, the Magellanic penguin and the Galápagos penguin.

The penguin is named after the cold water current it swims in, which is itself named after Alexander von Humboldt, an explorer. Humboldt penguins are medium-sized penguins, growing to 56–70 cm (22–28 in) long and a weight of 3.6-5.9 kg (8-13 lbs).