Biologists at the California Academy of Sciences recently announced that a new African Penguin chick hatched on May 4. The 16-day-old chick is currently bonding, behind-the-scenes, with dad, ‘Robben’, and mom, ‘Ty’. The new chick will join the rest of the colony, on exhibit, in the coming months. The Academy will also announce the chick’s gender and name, via social media, in the next few weeks.
African Penguins were classified as an endangered species in 2010 and are at very high risk of extinction in the wild. This new arrival represents the fourth African Penguin chick to hatch at the Academy this year, as part of an Association of Zoos and Aquariums’ Species Survival Plan (SSP). SSP programs are aimed at maintaining genetic diversity of captive populations through controlled breeding and collaborative exchange of offspring among AZA partner zoos and aquariums. The Academy has a long and successful history of breeding African Penguins as part of the SSP program for this species.
The Association of Zoos and Aquariums recently launched a new program. “AZA SAFE: Saving Animals From Extinction” is AZA’s newest conservation initiative. It is aimed at saving endangered species by restoring healthy populations in the wild. AZA SAFE will leverage the collective expertise and resources of the AZA member community, which includes 229 AZA-accredited zoos and aquariums across the country, to increase conservation outcomes and impact and engage the public.