Endangered African penguin chicks hatch in an Arizona aquarium
An Arizona aquarium is celebrating the hatching of three endangered African penguin chicks, saying the small additions are genetically valuable as zoos and aquariums around the world work to ensure the survival of the species through breeding programs. reproduction and conservation efforts.
OdySea Aquarium officials made the announcement Friday, posting Video of the fluffy birds in social networks. They were born a few weeks ago and will remain behind the scenes with their parents until they are ready for a public appearance.
African penguins have suffered massive population declines for decades and are listed as endangered by the International Union for Conservation of Nature.
So any successful hatching is cause for celebration, said Jess Peranteau, director of animal care and education at the aquarium.
“As the African penguin population continues to decline rapidly, down 23% in the past two years, OdySea Aquarium remains committed to the survival of the species in partnership with other Association of Zoos and Aquariums accredited facilities,” Peranteau said. in a statement.
The breeding program established by the association aims to build a viable gene pool for the species.
Officials say two of the three new chicks in Scottsdale are clutch mates, born to parents Mojo and Lemieux, a power couple that were selected to mate as part of the breeding program. The third chick was born to first-time parents Bubbles and Weasley.
Aquarium workers will perform regular “chick checks”, brief examinations to monitor their growth and development and ensure they are reaching all necessary milestones.
The three chicks have yet to be named and their sex has yet to be determined. For now they are known by their numbers, 42, 43 and 44.
In total, OdySea Aquarium now has 40 African penguins and has recorded 13 successful hatchings.
The aquarium bills itself as the largest in the Southwest.
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