Today, Bird Keepers at SEA LIFE Melbourne Aquarium are celebrating the highly anticipated arrival of the first sub-Antarctic King penguin chicks for the year.
Affectionately named “Nog”, the first King penguin chick was welcomed into the world in the early hours of 30 January, weighing approximately 183 grams to first time parents Matilda (female) and Egg.
Keepers continued to jump with joy with the arrival of a second pair of happy feet born on 2 February, weighing 185 grams, to proud parents Phoenix (female) and Hudson. One further chick was born on 10 February, weighing approximately 221 grams, to parents Burger and Terry (female). The aquarium’s two newest additions have not yet been named.
Mums and Dads are already feeding and fussing over their fluffy new additions. However, keepers are working around the clock to keep a close eye on the families.
The only aquarium in Australia to breed King penguins, SEA LIFE Melbourne Aquarium’s King and Gentoo penguin breeding programs are amongst the most successful in the world.
Visitors can catch a glimpse of the King penguin chicks on the ice in SEA LIFE Melbourne Aquarium’s Penguin Playground exhibit.
From the keepers...
Bird Manager at SEA LIFE Melbourne Aquarium, Sarina Walsh said it’s a very exciting time in the Penguin Playground exhibit, however there is also a stringent observation process in place to ensure the parents are consistently feeding the chicks, keeping them warm and protected from the curious feathered onlookers.
“We are very excited, but also remain vigilant as the first few days in a chick’s life are critical. Unlike our Gentoo penguins, the King’s do not build nests. Instead, the mother and father take it in turns incubating the egg, so it’s important we feed the parents a little extra to ensure they have plenty of energy and nutrients for themselves and their chicks,” said Ms Walsh.