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Monday, February 24, 2020

Cruising for chicks at Mystic

Penguin chick from endangered species born at Aquarium

There’s nothing like a fuzzy penguin chick to illicit the #FeelGoodFriday vibe.  Mystic Aquarium is proud to introduce the newest member of the Mystic Aquarium African penguin colony.

On Monday, February 3, Mystic Aquarium’s African penguin colony grew by one with the hatching of a penguin chick. 

Weighing in at 94 grams at hatching, the chick is developing nicely under the watchful eye of its parents Green/Pink and Blue/Red (and Mystic Aquarium’s animal care professionals, too!).

After almost three weeks, the chick now weighs in at 820 grams (or 1.8 lbs.).

The gender of the chick is unknown at present as there are no external characteristics to distinguish between males and females.  A DNA test will be conducted later to determine the chick’s gender.

Visitors to Mystic Aquarium may catch a glimpse of the new chick’s progress via live stream located in the underwater viewing area of the Roger Torey Petersen Penguin Pavilion.

The African penguin, one of the Aquarium’s most beloved animals, is also at the highest risk of extinction amongst Mystic Aquarium’s various animal collections.

Listed as endangered by the International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN) in 2010, the wild population of the African penguin could vanish within our lifetime.

In addition to being cute, this penguin chick in incredibly important as Mystic Aquarium works with colleagues from the Association of Zoos and Aquariums (AZA) as part of the Species Survival Plan (SSP) to ensure the long-term survival of African penguins in accredited zoos and aquariums. Mystic Aquarium was a founding member of the African penguin SSP in 1995.

There are many actions individuals can take to help change the plight of all endangered species, including the African penguin, like purchasing sustainable seafood, participating in local beach clean ups, recycling, properly disposing of chemical waste and so much more.

Now more than ever it is important to connect people with animals to inspire action. Mystic Aquarium’s mission to inspire people to care for and protect the ocean planet is never more engaging then with its encounter programs

The Penguin Encounter and Penguins Up Close each help foster a deeper appreciation for the African penguin and the much-needed conservation efforts.

Celebrations will be forthcoming to commemorate the chick’s first swim in April and the gender reveal later this spring.