A new king penguin chick was successfully hatched by staff at the Calgary Zoo last week after a close call with a broken egg.
According to a news release on the zoo’s website, the egg was laid by mom Antoinette — a 27-year-old king penguin brought to Calgary from Montreal in hopes of breeding her. While Antoinette laid the egg, it was left in the care of another momma penguin, Diana, who has previously raised two other penguin chicks.
Penguin eggs have a two-month incubation period, and the egg was due to hatch on Aug. 11. However, over the August long weekend, staff found bits of eggshell and realized the egg had been cracked early.
Zoo staff were able to patch the broken egg with bits of shell from a Humboldt penguin egg that was several years old. The egg was then put in an incubator.
The chick successfully broke free of the patched-up egg on Aug. 7. After receiving fluids and antibiotics, the chick was handed over to foster mom Diana. Zookeepers and veterinarians will continue to monitor the chick closely to make sure it has the best chance of survival.