The Zoo is open! 
All guests, including Zoo members, must now reserve free, timed tickets prior to visiting.

Review the Zoo’s reopening guidelines and make a reservation

When you are ready to visit, we're more than ready for you! Until then we are happy to continue to #BringTheStlZooToYou for you stay connected to your Zoo. 

February 23, 2021

Southern Rockhopper Chick Update

We need your help choosing a name for our Southern rockhopper chick! Our bird keepers selected four potential names for the chick: Pebbles, Opal, Luna and Lumi. Go to stlzoo.org/NameThePenguin to vote in our poll and read more about our new chick!

Transitioning the family to the behind-the-scenes area of Penguin & Puffin Coast is the first step in acclimating the young chick to keepers while giving the birds a free space for the chick to try out its newfound hopping legs. Penguin chicks are adventurous, and the open water can be quite dangerous for them. The chick’s down is warm, but not waterproof, so a slip into the water can chill the chick very quickly.

In the private, behind-the-scenes area, our Southern rockhopper chick is weighed every three days and keepers make note of daily milestones, such as venturing out from nest, reduction in begging for food from mom and dad, and changes in feathers and coloration, especially the growth of the iconic yellow feathers around its eyes.
 
At this stage in the chick’s development, mom and dad will leave the chick for longer periods of time to take care of other penguin duties, like swimming and eating. This time away gets longer and longer, and eventually, the parents will officially wean the chick, and keepers will step in to transition the chick to eating whole fish. Social company is important, so the chick gets to spend its days with other penguins like rockhopper Aunt Teresa or gentoo Aunt Trouble.