Gulfarium Marine Adventure Park president Will Merrill III announces a new addition to the park’s penguin colony. “The chick hatched on Wednesday, August 16,” says Merrill. “African penguins are an endangered animal. They are facing imminent extinction without human intervention.”
The wild African penguin population has decreased at the alarming rate of over sixty percent in the last 30 years. “The good news is, African penguins have many allies, including the Gulfarium,” says Merrill.
This is the second chick born to parents Ninja and Jelly in the last year. Ninja and Jelly’s first chick, Becky, hatched in December 2016. The Gulfarium’s success with rearing Becky inspired the expansion of their African penguin habitat.
“Our team is doing everything we can to not only protect this species from extinction, but also teach our guests about what they can do to help,” says Patrick Berry, Gulfarium general manager. The chick is currently being reared behind the scenes to ensure successful development.
“The staff will continue to work around the clock for this little penguin over the next several months. We aren’t in the clear yet, but we remain cautiously optimistic,” says Berry.
The public is invited to follow the chick’s progress on Gulfarium’s Facebook page. All updates including milestones, a gender reveal, and more will be made available via Facebook.