The staff of Moody Gardens in Texas had two new reasons to be thankful with the hatching of two Gentoo Penguin chicks during Thanksgiving weekend. Their parents, like all the Penguins in the collection, are identified by number-to-document statistics. Technically 404 and 415, the parents go by the names Stimpy and Porky. They've had chicks in the past but these two are the first of the season.
"We discovered the new chick at approximately 9:00 a.m. on Thanksgiving day,” said Moody Gardens biologist Hector Morale. “As we were changing light bulbs and cleaning inside the exhibit, the parents stood up and we found the chick tucked beneath them in the nest.” The next day, staff noticed the second egg.
Photo Credit: Moody Gardens
The Penguins currently weigh in at 165 and 344 grams. Tests will be taken at a later date to determine their gender. Penguin chicks grow fast and will become full-grown in just eight weeks. The new chicks will be named in a Moody Gardens’ Facebook fan page contest launched yesterday. Click that link if you'd like to particiapte. In the mean time, you can watch the penguins on the Live Penguin Cam, if you aren't able to visit in person.
Read more about Penguins after the fols!
These new additions made it the eighth straight year that Moody Gardens have successfully bred a Gentoo Penguin at its South Atlantic exhibit in the Aquarium Pyramid. Because of their strong popularity, Penguins play an influential role as ambassadors for wildlife conservation. As a member of the Association of Zoos and Aquariums, Moody Gardens will send some of the chicks to other institutions when they mature enough.