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Georgia Aquarium Blog

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Penguin Awareness Day and Chick Update 2016

January 20, 2016

Penguin Awareness Day and Penguin Chicks!

Happy Penguin Awareness Day! Today, we’re excited to announce the arrival of this year’s first-born African penguin chick, making it the 25th chick successfully hatched here at Georgia Aquarium as part of our participation in the American Zoo and Aquarium Association’s (AZA) Species Survival Plan (SSP)!

Our new chick weighing 165 grams at 6 days oldThis adorable and fluffy 11-day-old chick hatched Jan. 9 and is the newest addition to our African penguin colony in our Cold Water Quest gallery presented by Georgia-Pacific. The chick weighed 74 grams when first hatched, but at its most recent weigh-in, the chick was up to more than 340 grams.  Needless to say, this little penguin chick is growing well, but still has plenty of important milestones ahead!

Our new chick weighing 340 grams at 10 days old Our new chick is currently in our penguin habitat with its parents. In a few weeks, it will be time to wean from its parents and start eating whole fish. At this point, it will be carefully removed from its nest and placed in our Georgia-Pacific Penguin Nursery. This nursery allows our animal care teams and veterinary staff to better observe the growth of our new chicks and develop a relationship with them, an important factor that allows our teams to provide the best care possible for these birds. In the nursery, our animal care teams also begin hand-feeding fish fillets to the chicks. Penguin chicks grow fast and before we know it, they’ll be shedding their down-like plumage and taking their first swim! It will also be several months before we know the sex of the penguin chick. As it isn’t possible to determine a penguin’s gender by physical appearance, a blood sample will be obtained as part of a routine health exam that can be analyzed to determine if the chick is male or female.

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New Shipwreck Habitat Open!

January 15, 2016

New Shipwreck Habitat Open!

We’re happy to announce the opening of Shipwreck, a new habitat located in our Tropical Diver gallery that is home to various species of eel, cleaner shrimp and bigeye fish! This exciting, eight-foot tall, 2,000-gallon habitat cannot be missed with its captivating placement of a replica shipwreck and vibrant colors. While it contains more anthropomorphic, or human-like, qualities than most habitats here at Georgia Aquarium, it still brings awareness to the important role shipwrecks have in the world’s oceans: acting as an artificial reef.

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24 Penguin Chicks & Counting!

January 12, 2016

24 Penguin Chicks & Counting

Our African penguins have been busy building their nests in our Georgia-Pacific Cold Water Quest gallery, and we’re excited to see if there will be any new additions to our growing penguin colony.

Did you know that since 2012, our penguins have produced 24 successful hatchlings as part of the Species Survival Program (SSP)? All chicks (many now adults) are shown below with our Senior Animal Care & Training Specialist, Erin Morlang. Talk about penguin cuteness overload!

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