WATCH: First zoo babies of 2020 arrive with birth of penguin chicks

Little Blue Penguin hatchlings at the Cincinnati Zoo

CINCINNATI (FOX19) — The Cincinnati Zoo announced Monday its first babies of 2020 have arrived.

Two penguin chicks were hatched in early January, the zoo says, one on Jan. 6, the other on Jan. 7.

The hatchlings will move to a new habitat with the rest of the little blue penguin colony, including proud penguin parents Rueben and Chip, when Roo Valley opens in summer.

The new habitat will have an underwater viewing area and interactive technology elements.

“It’s a good time to be a penguin at the Cincinnati Zoo,” Curator of Aviculture Jennifer Gainer said in a news release. “The little blue penguins’ new habitat is going to be fantastic! There will be a lot of fun, enriching features that will encourage natural behaviors and allow the colony, which numbers 38 and is the largest in North America, to stay out longer in the season.”

Gainer adds the zoo’s African penguins will also get some new digs, a habitat three times the size of their current space.

“Input from our experts in the aviculture department was key to optimize the new penguin habitats for each species,” Zoo Director Thane Maynard said. “Our goal throughout the Zoo, as part of our More Home to Roam capital campaign expansion, is to give animals better homes and visitors a better experience. The little blue and African penguin habitats will certainly do that.”

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