8 macaroni penguins hatch at Kansas City Zoo

National

In this undated photo provided by the Kansas City Zoo, three Macaroni penguin chicks are cared for just days after their birth at the zoo in Kansas City, Kansas. For the first time in the zoo’s 110-year history, the zoo is home to Macaroni penguins from eggs provided by SeaWorld San Diego, that hatched eight fluffy chicks in incubators. (Kansas City Zoo via AP)

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KANSAS CITY, Mo. (AP) — Eight fluffy macaroni penguin chicks have been born at the Kansas City Zoo.

Their eggs were flown in from SeaWorld San Diego and hatched in incubators in Kansas City, the zoo announced Tuesday. It is the first time in the zoo’s 110-year history that it has been home to this species of penguin.

Zookeepers are raising the chicks by hand, which includes giving each of them up to six feedings a day of a mixture of herring, krill and vitamins.

The food is working, as the chicks continue to gain weight, the zoo said. They averaged only 3.25 ounces (92 grams) at birth but are gaining 10% to 15% of their body weight every day. They’ll eventually grow to be about 10 pounds (4.5 kilograms) and 2 feet (60 centimeters) tall.

The chicks are hidden from the public, for now, but are expected to join the general exhibit in the next few weeks.

Macaroni penguins are listed as vulnerable to extinction. They get their name from the bright yellow crest of feathers they’ll eventually grow above their eyes because in the 18th century, a gentleman who wore flashy feathers in his cap was known as a “macaroni,” the zoo said.

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