A full grown penguin chick is giving his keepers a bit of a headache by refusing the fly the nest!
In human terms Bonsai the Humboldt penguin…born last Christmas at Weymouth Sea Life Park…is now in his early 20s.
But whereas three younger chicks born in the Park’s resident colony have already left home and become fully independent, Bonsai sticks like glue to his mum and dad Maple and Rowan.
“He’s an unusual penguin because they generally leave home at five months,” said Fiona Smith, head of animal Care.
“We’ve even spruced up two empty nest boxes in the hope that that would entice him to get a place of his own, but he’s just not interested,” said Fiona.
The blame lies squarely with mum Maple, says Fiona.
“Like many mums she’s proved reluctant to loosen the apron strings, and carried on feeding Bonsai long past the point when he should have been fending for himself.”
Fending for himself, in this case, means taking food from his keepers instead of his parents.
Fiona and her colleagues are anxious that Bonsai finds his own feet before the winter, when Maple and Rowan’s thoughts are likely to turn to matters nuptial again.