Waddling into 2018, we welcomed four penguin chicks earlier this year to make up 30 successful hatchlings since 2012 at Georgia Aquarium. Drum roll please…today we are excited to announce the gender and name for each of these chicks. We are able to determine their sex by taking a blood sample and sending it off for DNA testing.
Over the past few months, these chicks have hit many milestones and continue to grow very quickly!
The first chick hatched in the 2017-2018 year was female, Chiku meaning the one who is always talking. Chiku has very loud vocalizations and her caretakers describe her as sweet, good, and a leader.
As you may remember from our first Aquarium Love Stories episode, we introduced to you one of our 2018 African penguin chicks. That chick is a male and is named Bakari. Bakari in Swahili means the one who will succeed. The Aquarium Love Stories episode tells the story of Bakari’s assisted hatch and his emergency surgery that took place after hatching. Bakari had a difficult start to life, but nonetheless pulled through as a fighter. This name sticks with the tradition of giving our chicks African names that fit their personality and Bakari was very appropriate for this little warrior.
The third chick of the year is male, Rafiki meaning friend. Rafiki hatched on his own on the habitat under his parents, Scari and Snap. He is the younger sibling to Bakari and they love to snuggle with each other. Rafiki has a big personality and is having no issue meeting all of his weight gain milestones!
The fourth chick of the year is female, Mosi meaning first-born. Mosi is the first, 3rd generation chick hatched at Georgia Aquarium. She is very mellow and relaxed. She is also calm, patient and likes to hide inside the huts. Her vocals are very quiet and demure.
Breeding programs like Georgia Aquariums are immensely important since African penguins are listed as Endangered on the International Union of Conservation of Nature (IUCN). Georgia Aquarium is proud to be an active participant in efforts like AZA’s Saving Animals From Extinction (SAFE) program, which focuses on conserving animals in the wild, and the Species Survival Plan (SSP) which works to bring AZA-accredited facilities together to manage species populations, many of which are endangered.
The chicks are continuing to grow behind-the-scenes. They will soon get their adult feathers and learn how to swim in the coming months. Stay tuned to our social pages for updates to find out when you can see these chicks on habitat!