New penguin residents at San Diego Zoo

Posted at 5:53 PM, May 16, 2018
and last updated 2018-05-16 21:22:38-04

SAN DIEGO (KGTV) -- Keep an eye out for two new residents at the San Diego Zoo - two penguin chicks named Lucas and Dot. 

The three-month-old penguin chicks will reside in the Cape Fynbos habitat with a colony of 29 adult penguins. 

After weeks of careful planning—including providing the chicks with a private pool, where they learned how to swim the hand raised penguins got to see their new home. 

The two juveniles immediately started swimming and climbing rocks, while keepers vigilantly monitored their progress. Animal care staff said the initial introduction went very smoothly and the birds behaved exactly as keepers had hoped, but they plan to allow only closely monitored interactions for the next few days.

“We will be pulling [Lucas and Dot] back at night,” said Debbie Denton, keeper. “We don’t want to leave them out unsupervised yet. We just want to give them a few days out here with the rest of the colony, and make sure that they are comfortable enough to do OK on their own overnight.”

Lucas and Dot were hatched in San Diego from eggs supplied though a breeding loan by the Minnesota Zoo, which has successfully hatched more than 24 eggs since opening its African penguin habitat in 2011.    

Guests can visit Lucas and Dot at their home in the Cape Fynbos habitat, inside Africa Rocks at the Zoo.