April 25 is World Penguin Day and Newport Aquarium has plenty to celebrate. This internationally recognized day aims to draw attention to the plight of penguins around the world, many of which are endangered or threatened.
This year’s World Penguin Day coincides with two milestones at the aquarium: the relaunch of the Warm Weather African Penguin Encounters, which generate funds for penguin conservation, and the hatching of a new penguin chick royal in the Palooza penguin habitat in cold weather. .
King penguin mom, Dumas, and dad, Indy welcomed their new chick into the family at the end of February. The family can now be seen by guests at Penguin Palooza. The adorable chick is easy to spot with her fuzzy feathered appearance. Geneve Darnell, a biologist at the Newport Aquarium, is part of the team that takes care of the penguins on a daily basis.
“It warms my heart to see the success of our breeding program, a great sign of the joy and health of the birds,” said Darnell. “The chick’s mother was born here in 2006, so in a way we are grandparents!”
The chick’s hatch is a success for the Association of Zoos and Aquariums’ Species Survival Plan breeding program. The Newport Aquarium works closely with other AZA-accredited zoos and aquariums on various conservation efforts, including supporting penguins in cold weather.
Warm-weather African penguins experience new adventures in their renovated and expanded habitat. Guests of the new edition of Penguin Encounter will feel like they are on a trip to South Africa as they encounter a colony of African penguin animal ambassadors. They will have the opportunity to touch the birds to feel their thick coat of waterproof feathers while discovering the animals and their natural habitat.
The experiment generates funds for the conservation of African penguin populations in the wild that are threatened by man-made problems like warming oceans and shrinking habitats.
Aquarium visitors are invited to learn more about penguins throughout World Penguin Day on April 25, including a chance to hear from the biologists who care for them. For more information, to schedule your own penguin encounter, or to obtain tickets, visit NewportAquarium.com.