Baby Penguins welcomed at Sea Life Kelly Tarlton’s Auckland
Just two weeks after the Duke and Duchess of Sussex announced they were expecting their first child, Sea Life Kelly Tarlton’s Auckland has announced the arrival of two of their very own baby Gentoo penguin chicks.
Born just one day apart, and weighing a cute but comfortable 280g and 240g respectively, the two unnamed chicks are both biological offspring to penguin couple, DB and Noah. The second egg was fostered to another couple George and Skye, whose own egg was infertile. The pair went on to successfully incubate the fostered egg and will continue to raise the chick as their own.*
The arrival of the two baby chicks marks another successful year for the Auckland attraction, which is currently in its twenty-second breeding season. Together with their older friends and family, the two penguin chicks will serve as ambassadors for their species, and will help educate the public on the precious species and the plight that they face in the wild.
“We’re so excited to welcome our two ‘Royal babies’ to the family! They arrived just in time to waddle into the history books and reserve bragging rights amongst their generation to say they were around for the Royal tour!” said Sea Life Kelly Tarlton’s Auckland Head Curator, Andrew Christie.
“Every single year we look forward to penguin breeding season at Sea Life Kelly Tartlon’s. We’ve been so fortunate to have twenty two successful years, and this is a true testament to the breeding facilities we have on-site, as well as the extensive husbandry knowledge of our team!
“From helping build breeding nests, monitoring egg development and weighing each chick up to four times a day, the team has invested countless hours into ensuring the safe arrival and development of each and every chick.”
The incubation period for sub-Antarctic Gentoo Penguins lasts approximately 36 days, with the small beak of the tiny Gentoo chick “pipping” out of its egg taking up to three days. As Gentoo penguins grow incredibly quickly, the new arrivals will spend the next few weeks with their parents, learning vital skills including how to feed and socialise within the colony. Once they are big enough, they will begin to lose their baby penguin fluff, start growing their adult feathers and begin their swimming lessons!
Unlike the King Penguin population who incubate eggs on their feet, once laid, the expectant Gentoo parents keep their eggs warm on pebble nesting rings scattered throughout the exhibit. Swapping duties daily, while one of the pair is doing their best to incubate the egg, the other is patrolling the perimeters of the nest, warding off any potential pebble thieves or over-inquisitive neighbours.
Sub-Antarctic penguins face a number of threats in the wild, including loss of habitat and breeding nests due to global warming, and plastic pollution consumption which can often be passed on to their young via their unique feeding technique.
“Guests can visit our two latest arrivals and their families in the Penguin Discovery exhibit at Sea Life Kelly Tarlton’s Auckland,” says Christie.
“For those looking for a more intimate encounter, a Penguin Passport experience allows you to enter their icy wonderland to learn all about them through a guided tour and witness penguins waddle, hop, slip and slide along the ice right in front of you.”
For more information about Sea Life Kelly Tarlton’s Auckland, please visit: https://www.kellytarltons.co.nz