New arrival at St Andrews is a cracking surprise

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St Andrews Aquarium is celebrating a cracking event - the safe arrival of the first young Humboldt Penguin chick to be born at the visitor attraction.

The chick, belonging to Andi the Penguin, named in honour of Andy Murray who became Wimbledon Champion in 2013, is from a second batch of eggs produced by the penguin in May this year.

Andi’s first batch of eggs failed to produce a chick so when the second duo of eggs arrived a few weeks ago, Aquarium staff were tentatively hopeful that one was fertilised.

This egg has been kept in an incubator to give it the best chance of hatching.

Early on Friday morning, cracks began to appear and within a few hours there were audible signs of life.

On Sunday morning, a baby penguin chick, who has since been named Ace, flopped out of its shell after a gruelling 48 hour hatching, and chirped its way into the hearts of the team of Fife aquarists at St Andrews Aquarium who had gathered to watch the spectacle unfold.

John Mace, manager at St Andrews Aquarium, said: “This has been an incredible experience. Because it takes such a time to hatch, we had time to focus the CCTV onto the eggs so we didn’t miss a moment, and to photograph the different stages of hatching as it took place.

“It was terribly tempting to help the wee chick along on its journey into the world, but it’s always better if we let nature take its course.

“The penguin chick is now acclimatising itself to its new surroundings and we’re providing round the clock care for it in these very early days. The next few days are vitally important so we’ll be keeping a close eye on the chick.”