1. ITV Report

First baby penguin born on Isle of Man for 8 years

The gender of the baby penguin will be determined in the next few months. Photo: Dandara

A baby penguin has been born on the Isle of Man for the first time in eight years.

Curraghs Wildlife Park in Ballaugh welcomed the newborn Humboldt penguin - the chick’s gender is not yet known but will be in the coming months.

Isle of Man charity The Friends of the Curraghs Wildlife Park approached housing developer Dandara for help in 2016 to fund nest boxes.

Humboldt penguins are found around the coast of Chile and Peru but the species are considered to be vulnerable to extinction.

The current that brings up fish from the Antarctica which they feed on has been affected by the warming of the seas. Over-fishing and disturbances on the beaches where they nest are also a threat. The development of new nest boxes was designed to encourage breeding at the park for the first time since 2010.

Credit: Dandara

The remodelled nest sides have provided easier access for keepers to check progress of the chick and give additional feeds to the parents. Both parents take turns of incubating the egg, keeping the chick warm and regurgitating fish to feed the chick which will grow rapidly. The chick has now started to come out of the nest box and can be seen in the enclosure, however you have to look carefully as, although 10 weeks old, it is the same size as the adults. It is only a slightly different feather pattern that gives it away.’

– Curraghs Wildlife Park General Manager Kathleen Graham