The first Humboldt Penguin that was ever born at Mumbai’s Byculla zoo on Independence Day, has died. It was a moment of joy for the zoo authorities on August 15, when the penguin was born. Zoo authorities have said its death was due to anomalies associated with newborn penguins.
The veterinary team that is concerned with Humboldt Penguins at the Mumbai zoo said in a statement that a preliminary investigation during the post-mortem revealed there were anomalies like yolk sac retention and liver dysfunction, which were the major causes of death.
After the two penguins, Molt (male) and Flipper (Female), had mated, the female penguin laid a single egg and it hatched on August 15, the release said.
However, despite the parents providing good care, the condition of the chick was found to be sinking. All efforts were made by the veterinary team to save it, but the chick was found dead on the night of August 22, the statement said.
The zoo authorities quoted a study which said that the first three months were crucial for the survival of a penguin chick and that the mortality for chicks that were under the age of three months was 30 to 35 per cent.
The penguins in the Mumbai zoo are the only instance of the species being brought from abroad to be kept in an Indian zoo. The overall expenditure for operation and maintenance of the facility for penguins is Rs 2.5 crore annually. Humboldt penguins were brought to the zoo in 2016.