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Penguin Chicks Make Public Debut

Penguin Chicks Make Public Debut
Visitors can distinguish the chicks from the adult penguins by their lighter gray plumage.  | Robin Riggs

Animals

September 9, 2013

Penguin chicks arrive at June Keyes Penguin Habitat
The penguin chicks are guided to their new home by Aquarium husbandry staff members. | Andrew Cohen

Two Magellanic Penguin chicks that hatched at the Aquarium of the Pacific in late June made their public debut on September 10, joining the rest of the penguins in the June Keyes Penguin Habitat. The chicks, one male and one female, were born to parents Roxy and Floyd.

Native to Argentina and Chile in South America, Magellanic Penguins live in temperate climates. The chicks hatch with their eyes closed and are able to open them about a week later. After about ninety days they fledge, losing their downy newborn feathers and replacing them with watertight, sub-adult feathers. Before they fledged, the Aquarium’s penguin chicks were being cared for behind the scenes. The chicks can be seen exploring their new home via the Aquarium’s live streaming webcams provided courtesy of explore.org, the philanthropic multimedia arm of the Annenberg Foundation.

Starting this week, Aquarium visitors will be able to meet one of the penguin chicks up close during daily meet-and-greet shows at the Molina Animal Care Center. Someone in the audience at each show will be selected to help feed the penguin. Also, the first two people to check in each day on Foursquare will get to go behind the scenes at the June Keyes Penguin Habitat.

The female chick has been named Heidi. The public can help name the male during a live auction at the Aquarium’s tenth annual Sea Fare fundraiser on Saturday, October 19, 2013. For information and to purchase tickets, visit aquariumofpacific.org/seafare or call (562) 437-FISH.

The Aquarium is also announcing a Penguin Story Contest for kids ages 8 to 18. Entries are due October 19, and winners receive Aquarium tickets and an opportunity to meet a penguin up close. The winning story submitted by a classroom will earn that class a field trip to the Aquarium. To learn more and submit entries, click here.

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