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Jurong Bird Park welcomes first King Penguin in almost a decade

SINGAPORE ― The first King Penguin in almost 10 years made its appearance at Jurong Bird Park on Wednesday (Dec 13), after it was hatched two months ago.

Maru at one month, developing a curious personality and the beginnings of a thick brown. King Penguin chicks moult this brown down after around nine months, and emerge in their adult plumage. Photo: Wildlife Reserves Singapore

Maru at one month, developing a curious personality and the beginnings of a thick brown. King Penguin chicks moult this brown down after around nine months, and emerge in their adult plumage. Photo: Wildlife Reserves Singapore

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SINGAPORE ― The first King Penguin in almost 10 years made its appearance at Jurong Bird Park on Wednesday (Dec 13), after it was hatched two months ago. 

Maru – which means ‘round’ in Japanese – is the first successful King Penguin to be hatched since 2008. 

Zookeepers retrieved the egg from Maru’s parents – Zoro and Sora – in August. It was later incubated under the park’s Breeding and Research Centre to increase its chances of survival. 

When Maru was hatched on Oct 10, it weighed just over 200g, Wildlife Reserves Singapore (WRS) shared in a news release on Wednesday. For the first two weeks, Maru was fed a blended fish formula which included Vitamins B and E – six times a day. 

It subsequently had three meals daily comprising herring fillets and capelin, and now weighs 6kg. 

King Penguins can weigh up to 15kg, and live up to 30 years under human care. King Penguin chicks are dark grey and develop a dark brown after a month. After about nine months, chicks will shed their brown down into their adult feathers. 

King Penguins are the second largest in size – after the Emperor Penguin – and grow up to about one metre in height. 

Currently, there are 17 King Penguins at Jurong Bird Park’s Penguin Coast exhibit, along with the African, Humboldt, Rockhopper and Macaroni Penguin species.

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