Hi, I’m Nugget, and I have a pretty unique story! While I was still in my egg, my parents weren’t sitting on it properly, so the keepers at Tanganyika pulled me out and incubated me in the nursery. They turned my egg every few hours and closely monitored the humidity to make sure everything was just right. Then on September 19th, 2020, I started hatching, and from day one, I was hand-raised up in the nursery.
My first food was krill, and I would eat one or two pieces on the side of the keeper’s pinkie and then fall asleep. As I grew up, I was introduced to other juveniles, and I fit in well with them and the rest of the colony. Because I was hand-raised, I have a strong bond with a few of my keepers, and I love being an ambassador for my species. I’ve been to weddings, birthday parties, schools, meet-and-greets, and painting experiences, and I’ve loved meeting all the new people!
I have a very distinct and occasionally sassy personality, and I love to be the center of attention. I’ll chase after bugs, bubbles, and laser pointers, and I adore getting attention and neck scratches from my keepers. It’s no wonder that I’m a keeper and guest favorite!
One of the things that makes me even more special is that I’m the first and only penguin at Tanganyika to be successfully incubated and then hand-raised from day one. And now, I’m starting to court my penguin partner, Freddy, who I grew up with in the nursery! It’s a heartwarming pairing because we’re childhood sweethearts, and we’ve come a long way from being just eggs in the nursery.
Species: African Penguin
- Tanganyika Wildlife Park Wichita, KS, USA