Ski Dubai Welcomes Peter The Gentoo Penguin Chick

28 Mar 2016

Peter, as well as three other chicks, hatched within the Gentoo Colony as part of Ski Dubai’s Snow Penguin Breeding Programme

Dubai, UAE – Ski Dubai is pleased to announce the birth of Peter, the Gentoo chick, joining its penguin family. The healthy chick hatched on December 22nd, 2015 and is currently being doted on by mum and dad, Sneezy and Mr Sim, inside Ski Dubai’s penguin habitat.

The proud parents, who are two of Ski Dubai’s resident Gentoo penguins, had been taking turns protecting their nest, eagerly awaiting the pitter-patter of tiny penguin feet. Once the new buddle of joy hatched, Peter was cared for by Sneezy and Mr Sim, alongside the Ski Dubai Penguin Team, who monitored the chick’s weight, nutrition and progress. At this time, Peter’s gender is currently unknown as Ski Dubai awaits the results from DNA testing, which are expected in the coming weeks.

Excitingly, not long after Peter’s arrival, Ski Dubai celebrated the birth of three other Gentoo chicks in the penguin habitat. Peter’s new siblings, who have been affectionately named Litmit, Apple and Pecan, were born in January this year and are currently in the feeding and exploring stages of their development, which is keeping their parents (and the Ski Dubai Penguin Team) very busy!

Peter has been temporarily named after Peter Dickinson, Head of Ski Dubai’s Penguin Department. Once the gender of the penguin has been determined through the DNA test, Ski Dubai fans and followers are able to select the perfect name for the latest addition to the Ski Dubai penguin family.

Commenting on the new additions, Omar El Banna, Marketing & Business Development Director at Majid Al Futtaim - Leisure & Entertainment said: “We are delighted to welcome Peter and the other Gentoo chicks to our Ski Dubai penguin family, and what better time to celebrate the births than at Easter. The new arrivals are testament to the hard work and dedication of our Ski Dubai Penguin Team which has led to the success of our Snow Penguins programme, an extension of the multi-generation breeding programme in the United States. We are confident that our guests at Ski Dubai will be just as excited about the new chicks as we are, and that there will be many great moments around this special occasion.”

Peter Dickinson, Head of Ski Dubai’s Penguin Department, said: “It is our pleasure to confirm that all of our new chicks are happy, healthy and have integrated well into Ski Dubai’s penguin colony. Peter, who is progressing fast, currently weights around 8kg, and is checked daily to ensure that enough weight is gained, in line with our development measures. Peter recently tried swimming for the first time with the adult penguins, which we’re pleased to say was a great success, as this is a very important milestone for any growing penguin chick.”

Ski Dubai’s Snow Penguin Breeding Programme continues to flourish within the resort, as the numbers of the Gentoo and King penguins continue to grow. The specially developed penguin habitat provides the penguins with an environment similar to their natural habitat and keeps them protected, whether it is from outside predators, infections, or environmental threats including global warming. While Gentoo penguins are not currently an endangered species, it continues to be a priority of the programme to enhance awareness and encourage education about the species.

The Penguin Encounter in Ski Dubai first opened with the arrival of 10 King and 10 Gentoo penguins on the 5th February 2012. As the birds settled into their environment and became more comfortable with their surroundings, Ski Dubai began to witness multiple pairings between the penguins. The ski resort is now home to 28 King and Gentoo penguins, including the four new chicks.