Today marks National Penguin Awareness Day and the SeaWorld Orlando Aviculture Team is celebrating with a “penguin chick” boom. Since November 30, a total of 15 penguin chicks have hatched at Antarctica: Empire of the Penguin, the all-new attraction which features a colony of more than 250 penguins from four species – king, Adelie, Gentoo and rockhopper.
The king penguin was the first chick to hatch followed shortly after by the Adelie, Gentoo and rockhopper chicks. Although currently ranging in size from 6 inches to 21 inches, the king chick, the largest penguin at SeaWorld’s Antarctica will grow to be as tall as 2.5 ft. and its smallest, the rock hopper will grow to be approximately 12 inches tall.
All 15 chicks are under the watchful eye of the SeaWorld Orlando Aviculture Team, who monitor the chicks’ growth closely and provide routine feedings. Many of the chicks are currently residing behind-the-scenes in a penguin nursery until they fledge, which is the process of losing their baby down and growing their waterproof feathers. As the chicks become more comfortable within the nursery pool they will begin daily “fieldtrips” into the exhibit until they’re old enough to be with the colony.
And, starting this Wednesday, January 22, SeaWorld Orlando fans will have the chance to help name a Gentoo chick. You can cast a vote for your favorite name by visiting SeaWorld Orlando Facebook page.
Penguin lovers of the world can unite this weekend at SeaWorld Orlando during Wild Days Penguin Lover’s Weekend with SeaWorld Animal Ambassador Julie Scardina. In addition to hearing Julie’s lifelong love of animals and learning more about the parks’ commitment to wildlife conservation, guests will have the special chance to virtually dance like a penguin, walk side by side with a penguin colony, and star in shareable photo opportunities at the coolest “ice” block party at Antarctica: Empire of the Penguin.