NEW ORLEANS - The Audubon Aquarium of the Americas in New Orleans is showing off new pictures and a video of a black-footed penguin chick that hatched at the aquarium in August.
The new chick, weighing in at just about two ounces, is the second offspring of penguin pair Puddles and Millicent. Those penguins were the first time parents of Chicory, the young penguin that arrived at the aquarium last spring.
“This may be the last chick for Puddles and Millicent,” said Senior Aviculturist Darwin Long. “The Species Survival Plan limits them to two chicks. We’re hoping to get some new pairings this coming year – and maybe some new penguin chicks as well!”
The aquarium says the Species Survival Plan determines breeding of endangered species like black-footed penguins to ensure genetic diversity in the zoo population. The chick’s parents have already proven to be excellent breeders and now are well represented in the gene pool.
The new arrival has been nicknamed “Elmer” after aviculturists at the aquarium repaired a broken bit of shell with glue while the chick was incubating. The name has just seemed to stick, but the aquarium says a more gender-appropriate name may be determined in the future when it is determined if the chick is male or female.
Elmer has been hand-reared behind-the-scenes at the aquarium and will now join the colony in the penguin habitat in a brand new specially-designed acrylic enclosure that will allow visitors to experience the rearing process of the young chick.