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Seneca Park Zoo welcomes its 100th African Penguin

Kevin Blakely

The Seneca Park Zoo is celebrating the hatching of its 100th African Penguin chick.

Zoo Director Larry Sorel says getting to one hundred hatchings for this particular species is significant in and of itself.

He says the African Penguins are managed under the Species Survival Plan developed by the Association of Zoos and Aquariums.

It's designed to ensure the survival of certain species at zoos.                                        

"68 of the chicks have gone to 26 other zoos.  And we've only been doing this since 1997, so it's a remarkable record for such a short period of time," Sorel said.                                                                     

Zoos around the country have also adopted breeding techniques and strategies documented by Seneca Park Zoo staff.

Sorel says the African Penguin is critically endangered, with about 35 to 40 thousand off the coast of South Africa.

The new chick is named Ikhulu, which means "one hundred" in Zulu, the most widely spoken language in South Africa.

Sorel says the new addition is still too young, and must be weaned from his parents, so he won't be out to join the zoo's 34 other penguins for another two months or so.