Tue, May 27, 2008 - Page 14 News List

Penguin 'moms' take care of rejected baby bird 家有企鵝寶貝

Caitlin Hume holds the bird on her kitchen table after its last feeding of the day in Boston on May 15, 2008.
本月十五日於波士頓,凱特琳.休姆餵完企鵝寶寶當天的最後一餐後,把牠抱放在廚房餐桌。
照片:美聯社

PHOTO: AP

Like many moms of newborns, Caitlin Hume’s work doesn’t end when she gets home. There is the herring-and-krill formula to prepare, followed by a little peeping and playtime, then bed.

For the past few weeks, Hume and fellow New England Aquarium biologist Heather Urquhart have been mothering a 624-gram Little Blue Penguin that was rejected by its parents after a difficult hatching.

Each night, the two surrogate moms delicately pack the baby into a plastic cooler for the car ride home.

Once home, the still-unnamed chick, which turns 44 days old today, waits in the guest room until Hume prepares a baby formula of herring fillet and shrimp-like krill. The pungent meal, resembling a chocolate shake, is fed to the penguin four times a day.

After dinner, the penguin enjoys a long nap — not unlike a human baby.

Andrea Desjardins, a penguin biologist who works at the aquarium, said the penguin team noticed an egg was about a week overdue from its normal 38-day term. They found the chick inside was still developing, so they induced the chick to hatch by chipping away tiny bits of shell, allowing the penguin to eventually break through.

When the biologists tried to give the bird back to its parents to raise it normally, they rejected the baby.

Aquarium biologists said the baby could have died because it was not being kept warm or fed. That is when the surrogate moms stepped in.

“It’s a lot of work, although I guess it’s probably easier than having a real baby because I can leave him in my house when I’m done,” Hume said.

The baby penguin appears to be making good progress and likely will be introduced to other chicks later this month. (AP)

就像許多新生嬰兒的母親一樣,凱特琳.休姆回家後仍無法好好休息。她得準備鯡魚小蝦米配方食品,還要細聲地跟牠說說話、玩遊戲,再哄牠上床睡覺。

OUT LOUD 對話練習

Lane: Where are you going?

Tina: I’m bored, so I’m going to the hat festival downtown.

Lane: The hat festival! That’s not a very good way to overcome boredom. If you ask me, the hat festival is for the birds.

Tina: Well if you think you got a better idea, what is it?

Lane: I’m going to the beach. Come along, I’ll wear a hat if you want.

連恩:妳要去哪裡?

蒂娜:我好無聊,所以我想進城去參加帽子節。

連恩:帽子節!那不會有多有趣的,我覺得那是一個無聊透頂的活動。

蒂娜:那你有什麼更好的建議?

連恩:我要去海邊玩,一起來啊。如果妳要的話,我可以戴上帽子。

is for the birds 無聊透頂的

If a person thinks something is for the birds, then he or she thinks it’s dumb and useless. For example, “You won’t see me hang gliding. That sort of thing is for the birds.”

如果某人覺得某事「is for the birds」,表示他或她覺得那件事既蠢又無聊。例如:「我不可能去玩滑翔翼,那類活動無聊死了」。


過去幾個星期以來,新英格蘭水族館的生物學家休姆和她的同事海瑟.厄奎爾,一直如母親般照顧一隻僅有六百二十四公克的小小藍企鵝,好不容易才孵化出來的牠竟遭親生父母遺棄。

每天晚上,這兩位代理媽媽都小心翼翼地把這隻小企鵝放入塑膠保冷箱,再開車載牠回家。

一回到家,牠會先待在客房裡,等著休姆為牠準備的鯡魚片加小蝦米配方,這套味道很重、看起來像巧克力奶昔的嬰兒餐,一天會餵食四次。這隻還沒有取名字的企鵝寶寶今天出生剛滿四十四天。

吃過晚餐的企鵝寶寶就和人類的小寶寶一樣,喜歡好好睡上一覺。

水族館內專門研究企鵝的生物學家安卓莉亞.黛斯賈汀說,一般企鵝蛋的孵化期是三十八天,但館內企鵝小組發現這顆企鵝蛋晚了一個星期還沒有孵化出來。他們發現裡面的企鵝寶寶仍有生長跡象,所以他們用人工的方法「催生」這隻小企鵝,他們一小片一小片地剝去蛋殼,讓企鵝寶寶終能破殼而出。

但當生物學家把牠放回父母身旁,希望牠能正常長大時,牠的父母卻不願意接受牠。

水族館的生物學家表示,如果沒有人幫企鵝寶寶保暖或餵食的話,牠很可能會死掉,所以兩位代理媽媽就肩負起照顧的責任。

休姆說:「照顧企鵝寶寶很辛苦,但我猜這可能比照顧一個真正的小孩簡單,因為等牠吃飽睡著後,我就可以出門了。」

這隻企鵝寶寶發育得很好,可能這個月底就能放回企鵝群中生活了。

(美聯社�翻譯:袁星塵)

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