The Long Island Aquarium Welcomes Baby African Black-Footed Penguin

The Long Island Aquarium Welcomes Baby African Black-Footed Penguin

The Long Island Aquarium in Riverhead is excited to welcome a baby African Black-footed Penguin to its family, according to a press release. The chick is the offspring of Frank and Puddy, making this Puddy's fourth successful hatchling. Caretackers are not yet able to determine the penguin's gender, but blood work will be drawn routinely to make sure the penguin is healthy and to learn the penguin's sex.

Upon hatch, the chick weighted 61.9 grams, approximately the weight of 20 sugar packets! Today, it is almost 6 pounds. It is doing very well and currently eating about 20% of its body weight daily!

"I am beyond happy and excited ot have a new little chick to welcome into the colony," says Maggie Seiler, primary avian keeper, according to a press release. "This is what it is all about. Taking care of the entire colony is rewarding in itself but having a successful chick is kind of an end result of the time, hard work, and dedication you put into the colony throughout the year."

The new chick is not yet on exhibit because it's water-proof feathers have not grown in yet. It will be ready to visit within the next few weeks and, when it is able to swim, you will see it join the rest of its friends at the Penguin Pavilion. In the meantime, you can observe and "visit" the rest of the colony on the Penguin Cam live stream on the Long Island Aquarium homepage.

The African Penguin is an endagered species and it is very possible that it will go extinct. Each penguin born in a facility such as the Long Island Aquarium acts as a symbol of the threats to their natural habitats and the things they can do to help the species. One thing we can do to promote safety for these animals is to ensure the seafood we purchase is sustainable to alleviate over-fishing in addition to other environmental concerns.