By Ron Matz

BALTIMORE (WJZ)—They’re the newest additions to the Maryland Zoo in Baltimore, and they’re as cute as can be.

Ron Matz has your first look at Jack and Nutmeg and their many friends.

It’s a happy march of the penguins on Rock Island. Jack and Nutmeg have just joined the family.

The penguins were born two and a half months ago at the Maryland Zoo in Baltimore.

“These guys are very, very healthy and they’re doing great,” said Jen Kottyan, Maryland Zoo area manager.

They grow up fast because they have to.

“We had two penguin chicks born in November, then Nutmeg and her older brother Jack were born in December. When they’re 3 months old, they’re considered fully grown. They have their juvenile plumage. These guys are a little bit larger. They weigh about eight pounds each,” Kottyan said.

The classic black and white coloring will appear next spring. They love microphones, and every day is an adventure.

“It’s a little something different every day. It’s hard to have a bad day around them. They are always doing something to amuse you. It’s great to have a hand in helping to propagate an endangered species. It’s very rewarding,” said Betty Dipple, Maryland Zoo animal keeper.

The Maryland Zoo has 52 penguins, and some have already made friends with the newest members of the family.

“They take to the water well, depending on each bird’s personality. Some will take a little more encouragement than others,” Kottyan said.

Jack and Nutmeg join two other baby penguins, who were born in November.

“Breeding season for Rock Island starts Oct. 1 and ends Feb. 1. The reason for that is we don’t hatch out in the summer months because chicks are susceptible to malaria so when the mosquitoes come out we stop hatching out the penguin chicks. We start up again when it gets a little cooler out in October,” Kottyan said.

Jack was born Dec. 21. His sister Nutmeg was born Christmas Day.


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