CAMDEN, N.J. (WTXF) - Add one more resident to the Adventure Aquarium's little blue penguin colony.
It officially announced the hatching of its first-ever little blue penguin chick, inside a nesting box on Dec. 3, under the watchful eye of staff.
"The birth of our first little blue chick is not only a historic event for Adventure Aquarium but it is also extremely exciting for our team and the colony," said Michele Pagel, Curator of Birds and Mammals. "We were also fortunate to have very attentive parents for this little blue. Mom and dad have been amazing from day one."
Proud first-time parents are Sheila and Goose.
Much like newborn humans, penguin chicks are very dependent on their parents. Their eyes are closed and their bodies are developing muscles so they'll eventually hold their heads up and walk (or waddle).
But penguin babies grow happens very quickly. In just over a month, this hatchling went from 1.23 ounces to 2 pounds, 3 ounces. That already the same as other adults in the little blue colony.
Just like the adult birds, the chick eats about 25 to 30 small whole fish each day.
Keepers think the chick is a girl. That's what early gender tests using DNA collected from inside the egg shell determined, but a blood test will be conducted to confirm.
For now, she'll remain behind the scenes to develop her waterproof plumage before eventually being reintroduced to the colony in the Little Blue Beach exhibit.
Guests will have the opportunity to help name the new little blue chick during an online vote to be held later this month. Details will be shared via the Aquarium's social media accounts. Click here for Facebook and click here for Twitter.
The little blue colony now consists of three females and six males, ranging in age from one month to 4 years.