Moody Gardens announced the birth of a new Chinstrap Penguin last week, making it the first Chinstrap chick ever born in the Moody Gardens Aquarium Pyramid. “We are one of only four institutions in the country to successfully hatch a Chinstrap Penguin,” said Diane Olsen, assistant curator at Moody Gardens. Olsen said the unnamed chick will only be on display until it learns to walk. Because Chinstrap Penguins normally nest in beach areas with shallow water near the shore, it is important to keep the chick away from the deep, cold water of the exhibit. While away from public view, the chick will be weaned from parents Hatcher and Carter, taught to swim and then reintroduced to its tuxedo-clad peers.
Moody Gardens is one of five zoos and aquariums in the U.S. to feature the sub-Antarctic chinstrap penguins in captivity. Olsen said the opportunity to see this chick is as rare and unique as the bird itself. “Our goal is to let people see these penguins to become more aware of and concerned for them so that when the issues of conservation and habitat destruction arise, visitors will be encouraged to take a stand for our animals and their environments,” she said.