NEW ORLEANS (press release) – Animal care team at Audubon Aquarium has a new resident to care for these days. Penguin parents Ocio and Hubig are once again the proud parents of a healthy new penguin chick.
The male chick hatched in an incubator February 10th, and is being hand raised by penguin staffers. There were originally two eggs, one remained with the parents in the nest but sadly was infertile. Taking care of a penguin chick means preparing special food and almost round-the-clock feedings. Initially the chick is fed a diet of liquids before being introduced to the fish he will eat as an adult.
Penguin chicks are covered in fluffy gray down. He won’t get his signature black and white feathers for a few more months.
The next step for this little guy is learning to swim. Penguins can practically fly underwater, but he will need to get some help from his human care givers to get used to the aquatic life before joining the rest of the birds in the Aquarium’s colony.
“African black-footed penguins are extremely endangered in the wild, so each new chick is important for the species survival,” said Bill Robles, Curator of Birds at Audubon Aquarium.
Ocio and Hubig are also parents of Moon who is still in the Audubon colony, and of Zion, who recently left Audubon Aquarium to join a new colony at Maryland Zoo.
“Everyone loves watching the penguins when they visit the Aquarium, many guests have their favorite penguin that they always look for. This chick is another example of the conservation work we do to help increase the numbers of these birds,” said Ron Forman, Audubon Nature Institute President and CEO.
The chick doesn’t yet have a name, but he will soon. He will be with the rest of the penguin colony when Audubon Aquarium completes its major renovation and reopens this summer.