Three Endangered Baby Penguins Hatch at Audubon Aquarium in New Orleans
New Orleans, La., June 10, 2013 /PRNewswire/ — Audubon Aquarium is thrilled to announce the hatching of three endangered African Blackfooted penguin chicks. Born in March, the chicks are growing quickly and have joined the penguin colony on exhibit.
The proud parents include Voodoo and Tag, Snake and Quatloo, Endymion and Kenickie. Endymion is the last penguin chick born at Audubon and is a testament to the success of the Audubon Penguin Breeding Program.
“With their numbers decreasing by as much as 90% in the past century, the hatching of multiple African penguin chicks is especially significant and makes me incredibly proud of the program’s accomplishments,” says Audubon Senior Aviculturist Darwin Long. “I’m very excited to share the images and video I have captured of the development of these adorable three chicks and proud to help sustain a quickly diminishing species of penguin.”
As a Species Survival Plan (SSP) breeding facility, Audubon works to build genetically-diverse captive populations to ensure the survival of threatened or endangered species. Audubon has raised 46 chicks since the Aquarium opened in 1990 and currently is home to 31 African Blackfooted penguins and three Southern Rockhopper penguins.
Currently on a diet of small fish, the chicks were initially fed a special hand-blended formula of fish, krill, half-and-half, an electrolyte solution, proteins and vitamins to provide everything the penguin chicks need to grow quickly and healthy during their first several weeks.
Audubon staff has been diligent in its efforts to ensure the health of the three penguin chicks. “One typically spends a 14-hour day in the early stages feeding 5 or even 6 times, cleaning, doing laundry, and preparing the next meals, all the while acclimating the bird to its surroundings and assessing health,” says Long. “It really makes you appreciate the work load of an actual penguin parent in the wild.”
Visitors to the Aquarium can view the newest additions to the Audubon family at the penguin exhibit and out-of-town penguin enthusiasts can view the penguin chicks and their parents on the Penguin Cam at Animal Planet L!VE.
Visit New Orleans now! Start your journey here: http://neworleansonline.com/followyournola.
Please visit Audubon Nature Institute at www.AudubonInstitute.org for more information about our penguins and attractions!