Zoo staff save abandoned penguin

Five day old chick hand reared by staff at Exmoor Zoo.

POOR Little Pingu the penguin has cut a lonely figure at Exmoor Zoo after being abandoned by his parents at just five days old.

Staff suspected trouble when first time Humboldt penguin parents Ickle and Lulu both turned out for feeding time, since one would normally stay at the nest.

Sure enough, head keeper Derek Gibson was soon pressed into action as surrogate parent, feeding the little chick crushed fish as he worked to keep him alive.

Now aged seven weeks, ‘Pingu’ is gulping down whole sprats almost half the length of his body and is increasing in weight daily.

It will be at least four more months before he can re-join the rest of the colony and he has yet to be officially named, staff sticking with the temporary nickname of ‘Little Pingu’.

The Humboldt penguin only one clutch of two eggs each year and it is hoped the absent parents will be more successful at rearing chicks in the future.

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