ATLANTA (February 12, 2015) - Georgia Aquarium is excited to announce the successful hatching of African penguin chicks for the fourth consecutive year. Four chicks made their debut to their penguin parents throughout the month of January and are being monitored daily by Aquarium and veterinary care staff.
Georgia Aquarium is dedicated to the conservation and protection of all aquatic species, including the African penguin, which is listed as an endangered species by the International Union of Conservation of Nature (IUCN) and the United States Endangered Species Act. Breeding programs like Georgia Aquarium’s are highly important since African penguins are included on these lists due to very rapid population decline from overfishing and environmental changes.
Georgia Aquarium is a participating member of the African penguin Species Survival Plan (SSP) led by the Association of Zoos and Aquariums (AZA). The SSP brings AZA-accredited facilities together and works to manage species populations, many of which are threatened or endangered. As part of the SSP, Georgia Aquarium is provided with breeding recommendations that take into account the animals’ genetic make-up to facilitate the growth of a healthy and genetically diverse population.
In 2013, Georgia Aquarium unveiled the Georgia-Pacific Penguin Nursery. This facility has allowed for animal care staff to monitor penguin eggs in a climate-controlled and protected environment before they hatch. The nursery also provides a dedicated space to accommodate specialized care should a chick require hand-rearing due to health or development concerns.
Penguin chicks will be visible to guests on behind the scenes tours beginning in late February. Please check the Georgia Aquarium website and social media profiles on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram and Google+ for Waddle Wednesday posts to see photos of African penguins and the new chicks.
For more information on Georgia Aquarium’s African penguins and updates on the penguin chicks’ development, please visit news.georgiaaquarium.org.
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ABOUT GEORGIA AQUARIUM
Georgia Aquarium in Atlanta, Georgia, is one of the world’s most dynamic aquariums—containing more than 10 million gallons of water and the largest collection of aquatic animals. The mission of Georgia Aquarium is to be a premier scientific institution delivering an awe-inspiring entertainment experience which supports animal research and conservation; inspires learning; and instills a passion for the aquatic world. Its exhibits and programs are of the highest standards, offering engaging guest encounters that promote the conservation of marine biodiversity throughout the world. Georgia Aquarium is an accredited member of the Association of Zoos and Aquariums and the Alliance of Marine Mammal Parks and Aquariums. For additional information, visit www.georgiaaquarium.org.