Maru, Jurong Bird Park’s First King Penguin Chick In Almost A Decade, Makes It Debut

Two month old Maru with a pair of adult King Penguins
Two month old Maru with a pair of adult King Penguins and its keeper, Benazir Begum.

There is a new King at Jurong Bird Park – new King Penguin chick that is.

New King Penguin Chick At Jurong Bird Park

Born on 10 October 2017, the new King Penguin chick is the first to be born at Jurong Bird Park since 2008. Named Maru – meaning “round” in Japanese, the King Penguin chick was hatched from an egg that was retrieved from its parents, Zoro and Sora, in August this year. It was taken to Jurong Bird Park’s Breeding and Research Centre where it was carefully incubated by keepers.

Maru Means “Round”

Maru at Day Three
Maru at Day Three

When hatched, Maru weighed just over 200 grams. The chick was fed a fish formula that was enriched with Vitamins B and E six times a day for the first two weeks of its life.

Maru has since moved on to a diet of herring fillets and capelin three times a day.

At two months old, Maru now weights 6 kg. King Penguins can grow up to 15 kg in weight and have been known to live up to 30 years under human care.

King Penguins

King Penguins are the second largest species of penguins in terms of size and can grow up to one metre tall in height. The only larger species of penguins are the Emperor Penguin. In the wild, King Penguins are naturally found on subantarctic islands and in Antarctica.

Maru at one month with the beginnings of a thick brown coat
Maru at one month with the beginnings of a thick brown coat
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Like other King Penguin chicks, Maru developed a dark brown down coat after a month. At about nine months, King Penguin chicks’ brown down will give way to their adult plumage. King Penguins have orange feathers on the sides of their head. They also have the longest beaks of the entire family of penguins.

The Jurong Bird Park’s Penguin Coast exhibit is currently home to 17 King Penguins where they live alongside African, Humboldt, Rockhopper and Macaroni Penguin species.

Visitors can see Maru at Jurong Bird Park’s indoor Penguin Coast exhibit.

Images courtesy of Wildlife Reserves Singapore.

READ: 10 Favourite Spots at Jurong Bird Park

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