COLORADO SPRINGS, Colo. -- The Cheyenne Mountain Zoo in Colorado Springs is celebrating the first successful birth of an African penguin chick in the zoo's 90+ year history.
It's the first time an African penguin chick has survived living more than 10 days after being born at the zoo.
'Penny', as they've nicknamed the new chick, is about 35 days old. They're calling it 'Penny' because of how lucky it is to be alive.
Veterinarians and penguin experts weren't sure why newborn hatchlings weren't surviving more than ten days, until recently.
See, the penguins share a similar facility with the zoo's hippos. But the hippos were recently transported to an out-of-state center, while their facility undergoes upgrades. Cheyenne Mountain Zoo officials believe an outdated air-filtration system within their facility was to blame.
"Penguins have notoriously sensitive respiratory systems, which are even more sensitive in newly hatched chicks. The Zoo’s hippos were recently relocated to Springfield, MO while their new exhibit is built, and the maintenance shop has also moved. The Zoo thinks these changes may have helped improve the chick’s health," a Zoo spokesperson said.
Right now, 'Penny' weighs two ounces. Once she gets to full-size (6 pounds), 'Penny' will be on display for everyone to see.