A king penguin chick was born Jan. 2 at the Saint Louis Zoo.Photo by Bird Keeper Samantha Griffin, Saint Louis Zoo.
The first New Year’s babies of 2016 have arrived at the Saint Louis Zoo. The zoo announced that two critically endangered Edwards’s pheasants hatched on Jan. 1 and Jan. 4, and a king penguin chick hatched on Jan. 2.
The king penguin chick weighed just 9 ounces at birth and is living with its parents, Nathan and BB, in the Penguin & Puffin Coast exhibit. It may not yet be visible to the public, as penguin chicks remain under their parents for 30 to 40 days to keep warm. Another king penguin chick that hatched Nov. 30 is now more visible because of its size.
The Edwards’s pheasants, which are also known as Vietnamese pheasants, are being hand-raised in a private area of the Bird House to assist their first-time parents. In addition to being the first babies to arrive at Saint Louis Zoo in 2016, the pheasants are also the first of their species to be born at the Saint Louis Zoo. The chicks weigh about .75 ounces each. Due to habitat loss and hunting in their native habitat of the rain forests of central Vietnam, remaining populations are extremely small, and may even be extinct in the wild.
Admission to the Saint Louis Zoo is free. Saint Louis Zoo is located at One Government Dr., St. Louis, MO, 63110.