We’re excited to announce that our newest African Black-Footed Penguin hatched overnight to parents Jack and Diane!
The chick, whose gender is unknown at this point, is doing extremely well – delightfully active and strong. At its first weigh-in this morning, it registered at 67 grams, roughly 2.3 ounces, or the size of a golf ball!
The chick is currently thriving under the watchful eyes of its penguin parents, and under the supervision of our biologists and veterinary staff. It is the first of two chicks expected from the clutch that Diane laid in the last 40 days.
Penguin chicks typically take 38-42 days to hatch out of their eggs after they are laid. During an incubation period, both parents will take turns sitting on the egg. After the chick hatches, mom and dad take turns protecting, feeding and keeping the chick warm 2 to 3 days at a time.
Jack and Diane’s second chick of the clutch is expected to hatch sometime in the next few days. As this egg continues to incubate, Jack and Diane will alternate between one sitting on the egg, and one caring for their newborn.
This chick is the second hatchling for Jack (11 years old) and Diane (13 years old), already parents to 5 year old Little Ditty. Jack and Diane were paired back in 2007 through the Association of Zoos and Aquarium’s (AZA’s) African penguin Species Survival Plan (SSP), a program that encourages zoos and aquariums to work together to help ensure the survival of African Penguins through a scientifically-controlled breeding program. Since it began working with the program in 1998, the Aquarium has successfully bred and raised fifteen African Black-Footed Penguin chicks.
We look forward to sharing news and updates about our growing penguin colony over the next few weeks. Continue to stay tuned for updates, and be sure to follow us on Twitter and Facebook for the latest!