3 baby penguins thriving at John Ball Zoo

GRAND RAPIDS, Mich. (WOOD) — John Ball Zoo has three new adorable residents.

Three Magellanic penguin chicks have been born at the Grand Rapids zoo in the last three weeks. Two are siblings, born to parents Qberta and Hogan. The other was born to Rio and Quffy.

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The zoo said all three are doing well under the care of “very attentive” parents. Keepers are watching them carefully, but so far not interfering so the parent penguins can do their jobs.

  • John Ball Zoo is welcoming the arrival of three new Magellanic penguin chicks. (Courtesy John Ball Zoo)
    John Ball Zoo is welcoming the arrival of three new Magellanic penguin chicks. (Courtesy John Ball Zoo)
  • John Ball Zoo is welcoming the arrival of three new Magellanic penguin chicks. (Courtesy John Ball Zoo)
    John Ball Zoo is welcoming the arrival of three new Magellanic penguin chicks. (Courtesy John Ball Zoo)
  • John Ball Zoo is welcoming the arrival of three new Magellanic penguin chicks. (Courtesy John Ball Zoo)
    John Ball Zoo is welcoming the arrival of three new Magellanic penguin chicks. (Courtesy John Ball Zoo)
  • John Ball Zoo is welcoming the arrival of three new Magellanic penguin chicks. (Courtesy John Ball Zoo)
    John Ball Zoo is welcoming the arrival of three new Magellanic penguin chicks. (Courtesy John Ball Zoo)
  • John Ball Zoo is welcoming the arrival of three new Magellanic penguin chicks. (Courtesy John Ball Zoo)
    John Ball Zoo is welcoming the arrival of three new Magellanic penguin chicks. (Courtesy John Ball Zoo)

“None of the chicks are visible to guests because they are being covered and protected by their parents, but they will be soon as they grow larger,” a Thursday release said.

When the chicks are a little bigger, they will be go to an off-habitat area so they get used to taking food from people. When they are old enough to get in and out of the habitat pool on their own, they’ll move to the public habitat.

Magellanic penguins are native to the southern part of South America, with habitats in Argentina, Chile and the Falkland Islands. They are classified as near-threatened, the zoo said. The zoo is part of a species survival plan to maximize the genetic diversity of birds bred in captivity.

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Qberta, Hogan, Rio and Quffy were all born at John Ball Zoo, among 46 penguins raised there since 2000.

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