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.
On November 30, SeaWorld Orlando welcomed the first chick to hatch at Antarctica: Empire of the Penguin, the all-new attraction featuring a colony of more than 250 penguins from four species – king, Adelie, gentoo and rockhopper.
The nearly two-week-old king chick is now weighing in at 30 ounces (882 grams) and currently being raised by its parents with routine check-ups from the SeaWorld Orlando Aviculture Team who monitor the chick’s weight and overall development. Although small now, it will grow to be more than 24 pounds (11 kilograms) and over 2.5 feet tall. This chick is one of two king chicks that have hatched within the last two weeks with more expected within the coming weeks.
Caring for the king chick is a full-time job shared by mom and dad, and it starts before the penguin even hatches. Since king penguins don’t build nests, the female lays one egg and both parents share incubation duties by placing the egg on their feet. This is also how they carry the chick once it hatches. Guests may get a rare glimpse of the king chick during feedings.
Antarctica: Empire of the Penguin transports guests into the icy world of the penguin like never before. Experience the mysterious land through the penguins’ eyes on a first-of-its-kind family ride, and then, connect with a colony above and below the water and be inspired to make a difference.
Be sure to check out the penguin cam, maybe you will catch a glimpse of the new chick!
Have you ever wondered if an NFL player could out run a cheetah? Get your tailgating gear together, place your bets, and tune in to Big Cat Week on Nat Geo WILD to find out the answer to that question!
During the 4th annual Big Cat Week viewers will be delighted and amazed by nature’s Biggest and Baddest Cats! There are also specials with entertainment’s Biggest names including NFL Superstars, the Best Big Cat Filmmakers in the World … oh, and there might also be a little bit of Betty White too! You won’t want to miss this week of TV!
Check out the first ever one on one race with a cheetah in Man v. Cheetah! Tennessee Titans’ Chris Johnson (the NFL’s fastest running back) and Chicago Bears’ Devin Hester (the super-agile wide receiver and kick returner) both take part in an extraordinary challenge to literally go one-on-one in a first-ever race with a cheetah.
Nat Geo WILD’s Man v. Cheetah is part of the network’s highest rated week, Big Cat Week premiering Friday, Nov. 29, at 9 pm et/pt. But this is more than a television event, BIG CAT WEEK is an extension of the Big Cats Initiative, a long-term commitment by the National Geographic Society to stop poaching, save habitat and sound the call that big steps are needed to save big cats around the world.
This global initiative actively supports on-the-ground conservation projects and education to help stem and eventually reverse the rapid disappearance of big cat populations. For more information on BIG CAT WEEK, visit www.natgeowild.com/bigcatweek or follow us on twitter @NGC_PR. More information on the Big Cats Initiative and how you can get involved, visit www.causeanuproar.com.
Orlando, Fla. (August 6, 2013) – For the first time in SeaWorld’s history, a Cesarean section has been performed on a shark. A team of shark experts and veterinarians performed the groundbreaking procedure on a whitetip reef shark at Discovery Cove, SeaWorld’s sister park, in Orlando on July 18, 2013.
Six months into the shark’s gestation, the park’s animal team noticed a complication with her pregnancy and determined an emergency C-section was necessary.
Whitetip reef sharks give birth to live young. In this case, four healthy pups were born. The pups each weighed less than three pounds at birth (1.04 kg-1.25 kg) and were about two feet long (58 cm-62 cm.). The Discovery Cove animal team and vets are continuing to monitor mom and her pups, who are doing well and eating and behaving normally. While these sharks are currently behind the scenes at Discovery Cove, guests can see other whitetip reef shark through glass while snorkeling in The Grand Reef or when participating in SeaVenture, an underwater walking tour where guests — wearing dive helmets – are able to explore life under the sea.
Discovery Cove is an all-inclusive day resort experience where guests enjoy a one-of-a-kind opportunity to swim with dolphins, snorkel with rays and tropical fish, hand-feed exotic birds and relax on pristine beaches. To discover more, visit DiscoveryCove.com and follow them on Facebook.