Tuesday, October 01, 2013
March of the Penguin Chicks
Fall in line and prepare to smile. The penguin chicks are on the march!
Floyd and Roxy’s chicks were given a special behind the scenes tour of the Aquarium of the Pacific early one morning a couple of weeks before they graduated to the June Keyes Penguin Exhibit. Waddling from their nursery in the main building while following one of their caretakers, aviculturalist Karen, they first explored the area around the BP Sea Otter Exhibit. They were surprised by Charlie the Sea Otter who swam by to check them out at the main viewing area. Penguin curiosity then took over as they peered through the glass fascinated by the schools of fish and the swimming sea otters. As they continued their marched they started to pick up a cadre of early morning Aquarium staffers in the pre-opening hours. The facilities, housekeeping, volunteer, and aquarist staff were amazed to see these two penguins waddling through the same areas that guests walk through. The chicks ended up leading a small column of smiling workers past the giant Pacific octopus exhibit, out the doors to the skates and rays exhibit, past the Shorebirds Exhibit to the June Keyes Penguin Habitat. Some of the staff even imitated the waddling of these young penguins. As one staffer put it, “What a nice way to start a day!”
At the June Keyes Penguin Habitat the youngsters waddled into the penguin under-look where they could see adult penguins swimming above them as well as in front of them. “Where’s Mommy?” one of the husbandry staffers said to the chick as they looked at the adults swimming past. By the time of this blog being posted the chicks have already been introduced to the exhibit. But this day they were just headed to their penguin play pen behind the scenes.
This penguin parade was not only a neat experience for the penguin chicks and staff. It was also a training session for the chicks as they are groomed to become future animal ambassadors for the Aquarium.
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