Wednesday, March 27, 2013

Injured baby king penguin named for Texans player J. J. Watt

Posted: Mar 26, 2013
GALVESTON, Texas (FOX 26) - 
 His first few weeks of life were arduous ones, but one baby king penguin has overcome the odds and earned a named to match his ability to survive.

The penguin hatched in early March and suffered an injury after breaking out of his shell. With care from biologists at Moody Gardens Galveston Island, he recovered in speedy fashion.

Because of his toughness, the baby king penguin was named Watt, a reference to Houston Texans defensive end J. J. Watt who was named NFL Defensive Player of the Year for the 2012-2013 season.
"The little chick braved through it all," said Moody Gardens assistant curator Diane Olsen. "It was an injury we had to keep an eye on, and our staff did a good job taking care of it."

Galveston veterinarian Dr. Richard Henderson closed the wound after Watt was injured. From there, Moody Gardens Vet Tech Karen Holcroft and the rest of the penguin biologists treated him until the injury was healed. "You always have to be worried about infection and stuff," said Olsen. "We cleaned the wound and weighed him twice a day. We watched it very carefully."

Anyone who wants to visit Watt can view him with his penguin parents in the Aquarium Pyramid at Moody Gardens Galveston Island for a limited time period, since babies must be kept safely away from the exhibit until they are ready to swim in those waters.

The actual gender of Watt is still unknown because penguins are not sexually dimorphic, meaning it is impossible to distinguish male and female penguins apart based solely on looks. While away from the exhibit, blood tests will be done to determine what sex Watt is.


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