Ear: Penguin

In these dour times, a cuteness overload is in order to brighten your day. With that in mind, the Oregon Zoo has announced the arrival of a fluffy new Humboldt penguin hatchling, pictured courtesy of Shervin Hess and the Oregon Zoo.

Its dramatic entrance followed two peep-filled days as it worked its way out of its shell. The zoo provided a video of the new member of its penguin colony at bit.ly/PenguinPeeps

Humboldt penguins are endangered. Their native habitat is along the rocky coast of Chile and Peru, where there are only 12,000 breeding pairs left. The zoo has been breeding Humboldts since the 1980s, and this little fluff ball was the 191st chick to hatch.

"The hatching went just the way it's supposed to," Travis Koons, who oversees the zoo's bird population, said. "The chick appears to be healthy and active, and its parents are caring for it well."

Elleda Wilson is an editorial assistant for The Astorian and author of the award-winning In One Ear community column. Contact her at 971-704-1718 or ewilson@dailyastorian.com.

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