New Penguin Chick Hatches at the Aquarium!

It’s so fluffy! We’re proud to announce that an African blackfooted penguin chick hatched on exhibit June 4, and you can see it now in our Splash Zone exhibit.

The chick, whose gender is unknown, is being cared for by its parents, Karoo and Messina. During a June 10 exam, the little one weighed 6.9 ounces (195 grams). That’s more than three times what it weighed at birth—a sign that it’s eating well.

“The parents are doing a great job caring for the chick,” said Aimee Greenebaum, associate curator of aviculture. “We enjoy seeing them be such attentive parents.”

The chick will remain with Karoo and Messina for about three weeks or until it starts leaving its nest. Then the family will be moved behind the scenes for the chick’s safety; it can’t be left on exhibit because it could accidentally drown or be injured by adult penguins. It will eventually be named, and the threesome will go back on exhibit after a few months.

This is the fifth chick hatched at the Aquarium. Of three that hatched in January 2011, the two males, Pebble and Tola, survived and are both doing well at Dallas World Aquarium. (Despite excellent parental and veterinary care, penguin chicks have a high rate of mortality.) Maq hatched in August 2013 and is on exhibit here. All are part of a Species Survival Plan for this threatened species. The plan, managed by the Association of Zoos and Aquariums, identified Karoo and Messina as genetically important, and we received permission to breed them.

View the chick on our live web cam

Learn more about African blackfooted penguins

SO cool. We just visited, too, and missed going to that exhibit…piffle. Wonderful new addition!
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