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2nd king penguin chick hatches at Calgary Zoo to ‘unattached’ mother

Click to play video: 'Second king penguin chick born at Calgary Zoo makes its debut' Second king penguin chick born at Calgary Zoo makes its debut
WATCH ABOVE: Global News got a first look at the Calgary Zoo’s second-ever king penguin chick on Monday, just over two weeks since it hatched. The zoo said king penguins are part of the Species Survival Plan (SSP) – Aug 22, 2016

The Calgary Zoo welcomed its second king penguin chick Aug. 6 to a mother penguin who “remains unattached from a pairing”—an unusual situation for the species, officials said Friday.

“In the wild, penguins form pairs and take turns incubating the egg, co-parenting chicks to keep the egg warm before it hatches,” the zoo wrote on its blog. “This not only gives the two birds time to eat and rest while the other cares for the chick, but also gives the little king penguin double the protection.”

The Calgary Zoo announced a new king penguin in the family on Aug. 19, 2017. Calgary Zoo

Staff said the mother penguin, Grace, can only remain single because she’s living in the zoo environment.

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“In the wild, Grace would not have success raising her little one,” reads the blog. “She would have to choose between keeping the egg or chick warm and safe, or finding food for herself, and would eventually have to abandon it.”

Staff will feed Grace and check on the chick daily. It seems to be doing well, peeking out from under Grace to look around and feed.

The zoo said king penguins are part of the Species Survival Plan (SSP) which aims to “ensure genetic diversity in captive populations.”

“This king chick is only the second to be born at the zoo and is helping to grow our population and be an important ambassador for his species.”

The Calgary Zoo showed a photo of Nero, the first king penguin born there in August 2015. Calgary Zoo

The zoo welcomed its first king penguin chick, Nero, in August 2015. He quickly grew to be the biggest penguin in the colony at almost 16 kilograms—35 pounds—at just five months old.

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READ MORE: First king penguin born at Calgary Zoo grows to over 30 pounds

Watch below (Jan. 26, 2016): Gil Tucker reports on the Calgary Zoo’s new arrival, who really stands out from the crowd.

Click to play video: 'First king penguin born at Calgary Zoo grows to over 30 pounds' First king penguin born at Calgary Zoo grows to over 30 pounds
First king penguin born at Calgary Zoo grows to over 30 pounds – Jan 26, 2016

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