Friday, November 6, 2015

Video, photos: Endangered black-footed penguin chick 'Elmer' joins habitat at Audubon Aquarium

"Elmer," an endangered black-footed penguin chick, hatched at the Audubon Aquarium on Aug. 31. (Photo from Audubon Aquarium)

Get ready for cuteness overload: A new penguin chick has joined the penguin habitat at the Audubon Aquarium of the Americas.

An endangered black-footed penguin chick hatched at the Audubon Aquarium on Aug. 31, according to a news release from the aquarium. At birth, the new chick, nicknamed “Elmer,” weighed just 2 ounces, but has grown significantly in the past two months.

Elmer is the second offspring for penguins Puddles and Millicent. Chicory, their first offspring, was born last April.

“This may be the last chick for Puddles and Millicent,” senior aviculturist Darwin Long said in the news release. “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 Species Survival Plan determines breeding of endangered species like black-footed penguins to maintain genetic diversity in the zoo population, the aquarium said.

Fifty-four penguins have hatched at the Audubon Aquarium since opening in 1990.

Elmer got his name because aviculturists had to repair a broken bit of shell with glue during incubation, the aquarium said. Once it’s determined if Elmer is male or female, a more gender-appropriate name may be chosen.


















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