Penguin chick fed by keepers' puppet at Devon Zoo dies

The penguin being fed
Image caption The chick was also played recordings of other macaroni penguins

A penguin chick, who was hand-reared by zoo keepers in Devon who used a puppet to impersonate an adult, has died.

The macaroni penguin was fed by keepers using a decorated black rubber glove after its egg was abandoned when one of its parents fell ill.

Living Coasts said that the bird, which was just over two-weeks old, had been eating less and died on Monday.

Staff said it was a sad event and that a post-mortem examination would be carried out.

The chick hatched on 25 May and was fed using the hand-made puppet, decorated with red eyes and yellow plumes.

The puppet was used to prevent it from becoming too used to humans. It was also played recordings of other macaroni penguins.

Exhibit manager Clare Rugg said: "Keepers reported that the youngster ate less than usual on Sunday and had lost a bit of weight.

"On Monday morning, it was off its food, the vet was called, it was given rehydration fluid and critical care. But it sadly died later in the day."

Living Coasts' director, Elaine Hayes, said: "Things had been going well. We even had a short-list of names and were going to ask the public to vote for their favourite.

"Working with animals has its ups and downs, and this is definitely a down."

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