Two years after seven Humboldt penguins made the Byculla Zoo here their home, a four-and-a-half-year old female among them has laid an egg.
When the egg hatches, it will be the first penguin birth in the country.
"Penguins generally lay two eggs at a time. However,this penguin, named Flipper, has laid a single egg. The incubation period is 40 days. Once the egg hatches, it will be the first penguin to be born in the country," said Sanjay Tripathi, director of the zoo which is run by the city civic body.
Molt, the youngest of the seven penguins, and Flipper, who is the oldest of the lot, have been a couple for a while, Mr Tripathi said..
Flipper laid the egg on Thursday morning. Humboldt penguins are natives of South America and have an average life span of 25 years.
Seven Humboldt penguins were brought to Mumbai from Seoul on July 26, 2016.
Zoo officials maintain the temperature of their enclosure between 12 to 15 degree Celsius. They are fed a diet of fish, blast-frozen at minus 80 degree Celsius to avoid any contamination due to microbes, Tripathi said.
The other penguins are named Olive, Bubble, Donald, Daisy and Popeye.
Zoo officials have also kept an artificial incubator on stand-by, in case Molt and Flipper are unable to hatch the egg.
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