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Last Updated: Friday, 1 June 2007, 07:06 GMT 08:06 UK
New penguins arrive at city zoo
The rockhopper penguin chick is the first to hatch at Edinburgh Zoo in four years

Edinburgh Zoo has seen 23 new arrivals at its penguin enclosure in just the first few weeks of the breeding season.

Already, 22 gentoo chicks have hatched with several more expected over the next few weeks.

The zoo has also seen the arrival of its first rockhopper chick in four years. The penguin breed has proved hard to breed in captivity.

The chick, which was weighed on scales at the zoo on Thursday, was said to be doing well.

The last rockhopper chick bred at the zoo hatched in 2003.

It had to be hand-reared by the keepers as his parents were not feeding him.

We are really happy to have a healthy chick
Roslin Talbot
Head keeper

Zoo keepers said this time, the parents were being very attentive and the chick was doing well.

Roslin Talbot, head keeper of penguins, said: "We have an excellent breeding record for gentoos but it is more difficult to breed rockhoppers so we are really happy to have a healthy chick.

"It is still staying very close to its parents but will start venturing out itself in the next few weeks.

"Unfortunately, it's still too early to find out what sex it is so we haven't been able to name it yet."

In the wild, rockhoppers are found on the sub-Antarctic islands in the southern hemisphere.

They live on rocky terrain and steep hillsides, hopping from boulder to boulder which is where their name originates from.

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