Thursday, March 5, 2015

#Penguins of the Day

King and moon2 

Kings and moon by Derek Pettersson


Kings at dusk by Derek Pettersson

3 African #penguin chicks to debut at CA Academy of Sciences

Three new penguin chicks are about to make their public debut at the California Academy of Sciences in San Francisco.

ABC7 News went behind the scenes to meet these cuties and found out about the international effort to save their species from extinction.

The penguin parents are bringing up their baby at the California Academy of Sciences in Golden Gate Park. This newly renovated exhibit is one of the Academy's most popular exhibits and has had great success with breeding.
Six weeks after we first saw the new chick, we returned for a progress report from penguin keeper Crystal Crimbchin.

"He's doing great," Crimbchin said. "You can see he's gained a lot of weight since the last time you saw him."

The chick is actually the third born at the museum since November. The other two are a few weeks older and already have most of their swimming feathers.

The youngest is still covered with down.

"You can see that their wings are still very floppy, not ready for swimming like hers are," Crimbshin said.

The chicks are African penguins, an endangered species. The Academy has been breeding them for more than twenty years in cooperation with other scientific institutions and zoos.

When the chicks are old enough they'll be moved to other colonies to make sure there's no inbreeding.

"We want to make sure we have a genetically diverse collection of African Penguins in captivity 50 to 100 years from now," Vikki McCloskey, assistant curator said.

Academy biologists are also part of the effort to help penguins survive in the wild. They recently traveled to South Africa where the penguin population has dropped 70 percent since 2001.

An Academy video shows the massive effort to rescue hundreds of chicks abandoned by their parents because there's not enough food during certain seasons.

"It is a stop gap measure right now, we have to figure out the bigger picture," McCloskey said.

The rescued chicks must all be hand fed.

"They get fluids twice a day, formula twice a day and fish twice a day," McCloskey said. "We just did that all day."

Scientists are working to figure out what's going wrong with the penguin's natural food supply. In the meantime, research shows the rescued chicks do well if they're hand fed until they're old enough to fish for themselves in the wild.

"The release is my favorite part because you get to see all the birds I worked with the entire time go back out into the wild," Crimbchin said.

It's a great moment for the people, but some of the birds are not so sure. Eventually though they all get the idea and head out to sea to help insure the survival of their species.

The three new chicks who have been living behind the scenes will join the penguin exhibit next week on March 11 and the public will get to vote on their names.

Updates on penguin chicks' debut will be posted on the California Academy of Sciences Facebook page.

Click here for more information on the Southern African Penguin Rescue Effort.

Written and produced by Jennifer Olney.


Columbus Zoo named a #penguin after Ohio State football hero

By: Laken Litman

(USA TODAY Sports)

(USA TODAY Sports)It’s been a crazy couple months for Ezekiel Elliott. The Ohio State running back led the Buckeyes to a national championship, rushing for 696 yards this Big Ten championship and College Football Playoff, and is poised to be a Heisman Trophy contender next season. And to top it all off, he just had a penguin named after him. That’s right. The Columbus Zoo named it’s newborn Humboldt penguin Zeke.


Kansas City Zoo's new #penguin chicks waddle onto exhibit

The two Gentoo penquin chicks waddled their way back to their exhibit for the first time since they hatched almost three months ago.
The two Gentoo penquin chicks waddled their way back to their exhibit for the first time since they hatched almost three months ago.
Posted: Mar 04, 2015
 The baby penguins are growing up fast, and they are back on display at the Kansas City Zoo.
In mid-December, the Kansas City Zoo welcomed in two baby penguins.

The two Gentoo penguin chicks waddled their way back to their exhibit on Wednesday after being hidden away for a time.  "Both of the birds were hatched on exhibit. We basically kept them with their parents until we got to a certain point. Once we got to having them at a certain age, we pulled them back and had to get them used to being fed by the keepers," said Sean Putney, director of living collections.

But they are chicks no more. They now weigh in at 11.9 and 13.8 pounds, a far cry from their 3.5 ounce birth weight. "They have to grow extremely quickly when you're a penguin. Otherwise, you won't make it in the real world. So they grow quite quickly. They have to gain 10-20 percent of their body weight on a daily basis in order to get to this point," Putney.

So, they have already molted, shed their down and grown in their adult, waterproof feathers. And, it didn't take long to get their flippers wet.

Next, they'll need to learn to hand-feed from the keepers, like the rest of the flock. "As you can see, it was pretty eventful, comical at times, and even though they are a touch smaller than the other penguins in there, they are still having a little bit of a tough time. But it went pretty well for their first time," Putney said.

Gentoos are the third largest of the penguin species primarily found in the Antarctic Islands.
But, you can visit these two yet unnamed chicks every day at the Kansas City Zoo, which is open from 9:30 a.m. to 4 p.m.

Tuesday, March 3, 2015

Newport Aquarium's new baby #penguin makes appearance

Newport Aquarium senior biologist Jen Hazeres holds Kevin Bacon, a baby king penguin born Feb. 7 and unveiled to a group of third grade students from St. Francis de Sales School, Lebanon, during a visit to the aquarium Tuesday.(Photo: The Enquirer/Patrick Reddy)

The Newport Aquarium new baby king penguin had his debut appearance Tuesday.
Kevin Bacon (yes, he is named after the actor), was revealed to a group of third-graders from St. Francis de Sales School, Lebanon, during a visit to the aquarium.
The aquarium's penguin population has produced three chicks in a nine-month span.
Kevin Bacon, who weighed 7.93 ounces when he was hatched Feb. 7, now weighs 2.5 pounds.
The chick's expected hatching date was Friday the 13th, so he was named for the actor who starred in the movie.
The chick's parents are Bebe (father) and Wednesday (mother). He is the second chick the pair has reproduced.
The aquarium's king penguin population has produced three chicks in a nine-month span. There has been an average of only 14 king penguin hatchlings annually over the last 10 years at zoos and aquariums in the United States, said senior biologist Dan Clady.


Meet Zeke the #penguin, Columbus Zoo’s new little waddler

By The Columbus Dispatch  • 
The cold winter didn’t stop a warm-weather penguin pair from producing a fuzzy gray offspring at the Columbus Zoo and Aquarium. The Humboldt chick, dubbed Zeke after Ohio State University running back Ezekiel Elliott, hatched on Feb. 20 and has made it past the critical time period for survival, zoo spokeswoman Patty Peters said yesterday.

The male chick weighed 3 ounces when it hatched and 10 ounces on Friday, she said. Full-grown Humboldts average 9 pounds. Pieces of the shell were collected and sent out for DNA testing to confirm the chick’s gender. Peters said Zeke will remain in a nesting box behind the scenes until April, then will be on public view.

Humboldt penguins are native to Chile and Peru off the western coast of South America and are a vulnerable species because of over-fishing, climate change and habitat disturbance, Peters said. They’re among 14 warm-weather penguin species. The chick’s parents are Tressel and Fritz. Because Fritz — the father — has a heart condition, another penguin couple — Secunda and Watson — will raise the hatchling.

Tressel and Fritz had two chicks last year and four others since they became a breeding pair in 2005, part of a survival plan for the Humboldt penguin that was recommended by the Association of Zoos and Aquariums. The Columbus zoo has hatched 23 chicks, including Zeke, since 1996 and currently has 15 Humboldt penguins.


#Penguins of the Day

Two King penguins in the Falklands 

Two King penguins in the Falklands by Sally Walton

Saturday, February 28, 2015

Friday, February 27, 2015