| Reported by: San Diego 6 News Team |
Last Update: 12/16
SAN DIEGO - SeaWorld is celebrating 16 new arrivals for the holidays at its Penguin Encounter.
Penguin chicks displaying their juvenile plumage. (Photo: SeaWorld)
Sixteen penguin chicks, ranging in age from 5 to 35 days old, have hatched at the marine-life park.
"They will go into the Encounter when they have their waterproof feathers or juvenile plumage at about six to ten weeks," according to SeaWorld spokesperson Alexandra Kuty.
The new arrivals represent three different species, Adélie, gentoo and macaroni penguins.
A three month old emperor penguin is described as the park's most celebrated chick. It's "now living in the Penguin Encounter in a private corral to help the chick and other penguins acclimate to each other," said Kuty.
Curious older penguins watch a three month old emperor penguin in a private corral. (Photo: SeaWorld)
The youngest chicks gets a special formula of ground herring fillets, krill, minerals, vitamins and water. The older chicks are weaning off formula and are eating mostly fish, according to SeaWorld. The feedings keep the staff busy with meals five times a day for the youngest and three times a day for the older chicks
The baby penguins are among more than 500 penguin chicks that have been hatched at SeaWorld San Diego since 1980, where aviculturists have pioneered techniques for hand-raising penguin chicks.