Photo by Justin Criado
The National Aviary in Central Northside welcomed two new family members in mid-December. The two African Penguin chicks made their public debut Thursday, Jan. 8
Making their first public debut since hatching on a live nest cam Dec. 15 and 18, respectively, the two African Penguins chicks underwent a routine medical exam and public feeding Thursday, Jan. 8 at the National Aviary in Central Northside. The third pair to parents Sidney and Bette, the chicks’ nest cam received over 200,000 views, a penguins version of the Truman Show.
National Aviary medical staff, Dr. Pilar Fish (left) and Sarah Shannon conducted the medical exam. Even though the chicks are nearly a month old, the sex of each is still unknown. Gender is identified through a DNA test, which the medical staff is still waiting on.
Both chicks checked out fine, and weighed just under 2 pounds, which is healthy for chicks so young, according to Fish.
After the exam, Chris Gaus, Senior Aviculturist, Penguin Point, publicly fed the chicks in the Avian Care Center. The chicks can be viewed publicly until mid-February when the chicks will be trained to swim and acclimated to their exhibit.
African Penguins are an endangered species (only 20,000 are remaining in the wild) and the National Aviary participates in the Association of Zoos & Aquariums Species Survival Plan, which ensures the survival of selected wildlife species like the African Penguin. For more information please visit the official website.