ARIZONA NEWS

Endangered African penguins born in conservation program at Scottsdale’s OdySea Aquarium

Feb 19, 2023, 10:29 AM

African Penguins emerge from the surf at the Boulders Penguin Colony, part of the Table Mountain Na...

African Penguins emerge from the surf at the Boulders Penguin Colony, part of the Table Mountain National Park, on February 9, 2022 in Simonstown in South Africa's Western Cape province. (Photo by David Silverman/Getty Images)

(Photo by David Silverman/Getty Images)

SCOTTSDALE, Ariz. (AP) — An Arizona aquarium is celebrating the hatching of three endangered African penguin chicks, saying the tiny additions are genetically valuable as zoos and aquariums around the world work to ensure the species’ survival through breeding programs and conservation efforts.

Officials at OdySea Aquarium made the announcement Friday, posting video of the fuzzy birds on social media. They hatched a few weeks ago and will remain behind the scenes with their parents until they’re ready for a public appearance.

African penguins have suffered a massive population decline over the decades and are listed as endangered by the International Union for Conservation of Nature.

So any successful hatching is cause for celebration, said Jess Peranteau, director of animal care and education at the aquarium.

“As the population of the African penguin continues to rapidly decline — down 23% in the past two years alone — OdySea Aquarium remains committed to the survival of the species in partnership with other Association of Zoos and Aquariums’ accredited facilities,” Peranteau said in a statement.

The breeding program established by the association aims to build up a viable genetic pool for the species.

 

View this post on Instagram

 

A post shared by OdySea Aquarium (@odysea.aquarium)

Officials say two of the three new chicks in Scottsdale are clutch-mates, born to parents Mojo and Lemieux — a power couple of sorts that was selected for pairing as part of the breeding program. The third chick was born to first-time parents Bubbles and Weasley.

Aquarium workers will regularly conduct “chick checks,” brief exams to monitor their growth and development and ensure they are hitting all necessary milestones.

The three chicks have yet to be named, and their sex has not yet been determined. For now they’re known by their numbers, 42, 43 and 44.

In all, OdySea Aquarium now has 40 African penguins and has recorded 13 successful hatchings.

The aquarium bills itself as the largest in the Southwest.

We want to hear from you.

Have a story idea or tip? Pass it along to the KTAR News team here.

Arizona News

The Loop 101 freeway will be closed in both directions near Tatum Boulevard over three nights this ...

KTAR.com

Overnight Loop 101 closures near Tatum Boulevard to start Monday

Both directions of the Loop 101 in northeast Phoenix near Tatum Boulevard will be closed three nights for utility work starting Monday.

7 hours ago

Bipartisan state budget of $16 billion passes in Arizona Legislature...

ktar.com

Weekend Wrap: Here are the biggest Phoenix news stories from June 14-16

From Arizona lawmakers passing a controversial bipartisan state budget to a fire blazing north of Fountain Hills, here are some of the biggest news stories in the Valley over the weekend.

9 hours ago

A man is dead after he was shot overnight in north phoenix....

KTAR.com

Parking dispute leaves Phoenix man dead in overnight shooting

A man is dead after he was shot overnight in north Phoenix.

9 hours ago

A 2-year-old girl died after falling into a backyard pool in Phoenix....

KTAR.com

2-year-old girl found dead in Phoenix backyard pool

Detectives are investigating the death of a 2-year-old girl who was found in a backyard pool on Saturday in Phoenix.

11 hours ago

Firefighting crews are battling the Riverside Fire north of Fountain Hills. (Tonto National Forest ...

KTAR.com

Bartlett Lake recreational areas north of Fountain Hills evacuated for Riverside Fire

The recreational areas near Bartlett Lake have been evacuated as firefighters battle the Riverside Fire north of Fountain Hills.

12 hours ago

A 2-year-old boy died after he was found in a backyard jacuzzi Saturday. (Pixabay photo)...

KTAR.com

2-year-old boy found in west Phoenix jacuzzi dies

Detectives are investigating the death of a two-year-old boy who was found in a backyard jacuzzi on Saturday in west Phoenix.

13 hours ago

Sponsored Articles

...

Sanderson Ford

3 new rides for 3 new road trips in Arizona

It's time for the Sanderson Ford Memorial Day sale with the Mighty Fine 69 Anniversary, as Sanderson Ford turned 69 years old in May.

...

Day & Night Air Conditioning, Heating and Plumbing

Beat the heat, ensure your AC unit is summer-ready

With temperatures starting to rise across the Valley, now is a great time to be sure your AC unit is ready to withstand the sweltering summer heat.

...

COLLINS COMFORT MASTERS

Here are 5 things Arizona residents need to know about their HVAC system

It's warming back up in the Valley, which means it's time to think about your air conditioning system's preparedness for summer.

Endangered African penguins born in conservation program at Scottsdale’s OdySea Aquarium