Columbia, SC (WLTX) - The Riverbanks Zoo has a new baby rockhopper penguin.
The five-week-old chick was born on June 14, and is now making its home on the zoo's penguin coast. It's still not made its public debut yet, however.
This is the first penguin hatching at the zoo since June of 2010.
"At this time, the hatchling's nest is located in an enclosed area for the bird's safety," said Martin Vince, curator of birds at Riverbanks Zoo and Garden. "Once the chick has developed its waterproof feathers, at about three months old, and is able to swim in the 40-degree water, the safety barrier will be removed and the bird will be visible to the public."
Penguins, of course, typically live in chilly waters. To stay warm, the penguin's body is covered with densely packed feathers that are covered with oils. The oils make their plumage impenetrable to water.
Riverbanks is home to three different species of penguin-the rockhopper, king and gentoo. Rockhoppers get their name because the birds hop from rock to rock bouncing along on both feet.
The zoo also has a baby flamingo on exhibit daily and two young toucans.