Image: © Audubon Nature Institute

Audubon Zoo Egg-Cited as Penguin Hatches


The Animal Facts Editorial Team


March 22, 2023 10:05 am


Audubon Aquarium, New Orleans, United States

Audubon Aquarium staff are egg-cited at the hatching of an African penguin chick. Breaking out in to the world on February 10th 2023 the chick was hatched in an incubator as zoo staff gave a helping hand to its parents Ocio and Humbug. Ocio and Humbug had two eggs with keepers taking one and leaving the other to be parent raised, unfortunately the second egg proved infertile.

Raising a penguin is a tiring job for aquarium staffers who must prepare special food and provide this to the chick during round the clock feeds. At present this diet is a liquid and as the chick grows it will transition to fish.

The next challenge for aquarium staff will be to take on the role of swim instructors teaching this little bird how to fly underwater.

At present the chick resembles the ugly duckling but as he grows he will take on the beautiful black and white patterned feathers of an adult penguin.

“African black-footed penguins are extremely endangered in the wild, so each new chick is important for the species survival,” said Bill Robles, Curator of Birds at Audubon Aquarium.  

Ocio and Humbug have made an important contribution to the survival of their species with this chick being their third surviving. Previous hatchling Moon remains in the colony at the Audubon Aquarium while Zion has recently made the move to a new colony at the Maryland Zoo.

“Everyone loves watching the penguins when they visit the Aquarium, many guests have their favorite penguin that they always look for. This chick is another example of the conservation work we do to help increase the numbers of these birds,” said Ron Forman, Audubon Nature Institute President and CEO.

Audubon Aquarium is currently undergoing a major renovation but guests will be given the opportunity to meet the chick when it reopens this summer.

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African Penguin

More on the African Penguin!

Sometimes known as the jackass penguin we think you will still love these beautiful birds, learn more about them in our fact file.

Our Favourite African Penguin Fact!

The pink ring around the eye of the African penguin is a gland which is filled with blood. This can become lighter or darker as the penguin pushes more blood to it. This blood is cooled by the breeze and in turn cools down the rest of their body.

Image: © Audubon Nature Institute

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