Pembrokeshire’s Folly Farm has announced the arrival of five new baby Humboldt penguin chicks - the first penguin chicks to hatch at the zoo since 2021!

Folly Farm keepers were in the position to start breeding the Humboldt penguins again, as part of a managed European Breeding Programme for the species through their membership with the European Association of Zoos and Aquariums (EAZA). These are the first penguin chicks to arrive on the zoo for three years!

Humboldt penguins are classed as a vulnerable species and threats to them in the wild are numerous. Penguin breeding has been on hold at Folly Farm and Folly’s keepers couldn’t be more delighted to be able to breed again!

The adorable new penguin chicks are growing quickly - and are currently cosy in their nest boxes being cared for by both parents who take it in turns feeding whilst the other goes for a swim in the pool. Chicks can double or even triple in weight every couple of days! In a few weeks they will leave their nests and be taken by the experienced keepers into their Penguin Nursery facility, where they'll spend a few weeks learning to feed on whole fish and swim in their small 'baby pool', before graduating to the main pool again with the rest of the colony.

Cheese has been chosen as the naming theme this season with the chicks being named; Mozzarella, Camembert, Cheddar, Halloumi and Gorgonzola. Well, who doesn’t love cheese?!

Penguin Keeper and Assistant Zoo Manager Caz Davies enthused; “We’re so excited to have chicks again. Each breeding season, keepers choose a catchy naming theme to easily identify the birds. Penguin chicks can't be sexed until they're a bit older and feather samples can be taken from them so we'll just have to wait on a gender reveal for now!"

‘Mozzarella’ was the first to arrive on the 30 March to parents, 'Magnum' and 'Feast', followed by ‘Camembert’ on 2 April whose parents are 'Perci' and 'Puffy'. ‘Cheddar’ arrived soon after on 05 May to 'Whippy' and 'Pippy' and ‘Halloumi’ hatched on 10 May to first time parents 'Einstein' and 'Darwin'. ‘Gorgonzola’ is the youngest chick and hatched on 14 May to 'Popple' and 'Pudding'.

Penguin Coast is currently home to 22 Humboldt and 14 Macaroni penguins. Guests won't be able to see the newest arrivals quite yet - but keep watching Folly Farm’s website and social platforms for updates!