Adorable ‘one of a kind’ albino penguin makes first public appearance at Gdańsk zoo
An albino penguin has made its first appearance at the zoo in Gdańsk after being born just three months ago.
The African penguin, which is also known as Jackass or Black-footed penguin, is thought to be the only one of its kind living in captivity.
The all-white penguin was born on December 12th, but it is only now that the zoo has revealed its arrival, fearing the chick would not survive.
Albino penguins are extremely rare and vulnerable and most don’t survive infancy.
At the moment, the as yet unnamed penguin is staying in an enclosure with only its parents and two other penguins, due to the fear of not being accepted or even harmed by the other penguins.
Soon it will join the 70 other penguins currently living in the zoo.
The cute penguin, which has white feathers and pink eyes, was born albino because of a birth defect caused by a genetic lack of pigment in its skin and feathers. Albinos often have red eyes, due to their eye blood vessels being clearly visible.
It is still unknown what sex the penguin is. Usually the keepers can tell by the feathers’ colour, which in this case will be impossible. Only after a DNA test will they be able to be sure – and also give the bird a name.
The zookeepers admit, that they are doting on the little one, making sure the albino penguin survives despite his condition. It will be susceptible to skin and eye illnesses, making it harder to find food.
African penguins are an endangered species, living in a small area in the south of Africa. Fishery and oils spills have limited their sustenance and living space.