NEW ORLEANS (WAFB) - The Audubon Aquarium in New Orleans announced the hatching of three endangered African Blackfooted penguin chicks.
The chicks were born in March and have already joined the penguin colony on exhibit. Visitors to the Aquarium can view the newest additions to the Audubon family at the penguin exhibit. Out-of-town penguin enthusiasts can view the penguin chicks and their parents on the Penguin Cam at Animal Planet L!VE (above live stream).
The parents of the three chicks are Voodoo and Tag, Snake and Quatloo, and Endymion and Kenickie. Endymion was the last chick born at Audubon before March.
In a news release from the Audubon Aquarium, Senior Aviculturist Darwin Long says the hatching of multiple African penguin chicks is especially significant because their numbers are decreasing by as much as 90 percent.
Audubon has raised 46 chicks since the Aquarium opened in 1990 and currently is home to 31 African Blackfooted penguins and three Southern Rockhopper penguins.
Audubon staff has been diligent in its efforts to ensure the health of the three penguin chicks. "One typically spends a 14-hour day in the early stages feeding 5 or even 6 times, cleaning, doing laundry, and preparing the next meals, all the while acclimating the bird to its surroundings and assessing health," says Long. "It really makes you appreciate the work load of an actual penguin parent in the wild."