Update: Tiny Bubbles for Tiger Cubs!
Piké The Polar Bear Celebrates Her 30th Birthday at SF Zoo!

First Penguins of the Season Hatch on Thanksgiving Day at Moody Gardens

Penguins wing.jpg

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.

Penguins side.jpg

Penguin paint.jpg

Penguin Wt

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!

Adult Gentoo Penguins have distinctive white patches above the eye area and white speckling in the adjacent black plumage around their heads. They also have yellow feet, making them unique in the Moody Gardens collection. Moody Gardens assistant curator Diane Olsen said she hopes to see new King and Chinstrap Penguins this season as well.

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.