India's first-ever penguin born in Mumbai zoo dies

The Humboldt penguin died of multiple complications, the Veer Jijabai Bhosale Udyan & Zoo at Byculla said on Friday.

A baby Humboldt penguin that was born in the Mumbai Zoo on Independence Day died on Wednesday night.

The seven-day-old was the first penguin to be born in India.

The Humboldt penguin died of multiple complications, the Veer Jijabai Bhosale Udyan & Zoo at Byculla said on Friday.

A day after the chick died, a post-mortem was conducted at the Bombay Veterinary College at Parel.

Preliminary investigation revealed that the chick had developed problems like yolk sac retention and liver dysfunction. The parents, called Mr Molt and Flipper, however, had shown good parent behaviour.

Although zoo officials said the baby penguin's development was proper, they added that 60% is the mortality rate expected in penguins due to reasons such as infertility of egg, malpositioning of chick inside the egg, failure to hatch on its own, chick deformity, inability of the parents to feed, yolk sac retention, residual albumin, among other issues.

Besides, the Association of Zoos and Aquarium Species Survival Plan, as well as a scientific paper on artificial incubation and hand-rearing of Humboldt penguins, said there is a 30% to 35% mortality rate among chicks younger than 30 days in age. It adds that the first three months are crucial.

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India's first-ever penguin born in Mumbai zoo dies

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