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African penguin born at Scottsdale’s OdySea Aquarium, more on the way

(OdySea Aquarium Photo)

PHOENIX — There’s a new pair of happy feet pattering around in Scottsdale.

The first African penguin of this year’s breeding season hatched at OdySea Aquarium, it was announced Thursday, and there are several more on the way.

The chick’s mom (Prince) and dad (Tux) gave birth to the aquarium’s first ever baby penguin Tigger last spring.

“We are thrilled about this new chick and are cautiously anticipating the arrival of more of these charismatic birds,” Jess Peranteau, director of animal care and education at OdySea Aquarium, said in a press release.

“African penguin numbers are dwindling in their natural habitat, so a baby boom would be a success for the species as well as for zoos and aquariums.”

According to the aquarium, African penguins are endangered, with fewer than 21,000 breeding pairs left in southern Africa.

The chick is expected to grow to its full size in a few months, and its sex is being determined through blood tests.

The aquarium plans to hold a naming contest and will post regular check-ins as the chick grows.

Starting Friday, the chick can been seen on the Penguin Webcam from noon to 2 p.m. in its nest.

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