'Likely to become endangered' penguin chick born at safari park

Bertie was born to parents Sully and Cliff on July 28 at Blair Drummond safari park.

‘Likely to become endangered’ Humboldt penguin chick born at Blair Drummond safari park Supplied

A group of penguins “likely to become endangered” have welcomed a new member at a Scottish safari park.

On Tuesday, Blair Drummond Safari and Adventure Park, near Stirling, announced the birth of a new Humboldt penguin chick.

After 40 days of incubation, the baby penguin was born to mother Sully and father Cliff on July 28.

The fluffy new arrival, named Bertie, has already become a firm favourite of the keepers.

“We are delighted to welcome the latest addition to our waddle of penguins,” said keeper Shane Belson.

Bertie will shed the grey feathers eventually to reveal black and white ones. SuppliediStock

“The chick is doing very well and has already been named Bertie, although it’s too early to find out whether the chick is a baby boy or girl.”

At the moment, Bertie had fluffy grey feathers but they will eventually shed to reveal the species trademark black and white feathers below.

Mr Belson continued: “This colouration is actually a form of camouflage called countershading which helps to keep penguins safe from predators both above and below.”

In the wild, Humboldt penguins are currently classed as vulnerable on the IUCN red list, meaning they are likely to become endangered unless the circumstances threatening their survival improve.

They are threatened by overfishing, rising sea temperatures, and habitat loss.

In a few weeks, Bertie will begin to venture outside – but for now, they’re being kept nice and warm in the nest box by both parents.

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