Penguin Chick Gets a Hand at Hatching

Beware: This fluffy gray chick is about to waddle right into your heart.

The African black-footed penguin, whose gender is not yet known, needed a little help from veterinarians at the Fort Wayne Children’s Zoo in Indiana when it came time to make its way into the world on June 26.

The baby used the temporary “egg tooth” on the top of its beak to poke through the egg membrane and eggshell. But, then its progress stopped.

"The veterinary staff ultimately helped the chick come out of the egg," says zookeeper Nikki Finch. "Mom and dad took the chick back right away and starting caring for it."

Mom and dad are known at the zoo as the Pinks — mom is Right Pink and dad is Left Pink. (The penguins are identified by colored bands located on their wings.)

The Pinks’ little one, who hasn’t yet had a public debut, is thriving. Weighing in at 52 grams when it was hatched, it was up to 298 grams in less than two weeks.

Once the chick sheds that adorable gray down and turns a familiar black and white, it will join the meet of its flock.

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