It’s a cracking good start to the year with the announcement of the first King penguin chick for the 2017 breeding season.
The adorable new arrival marks five consecutive successful King Penguin breeding seasons, cementing the SEA LIFE Melbourne breeding program as one of the most successful in the world.
Doting parents Blake (male) and Billy are proud to welcome their adorable new chick, Basil, to their icy home. Curious fellow penguin residents watch on in anticipation as there are still several parents sitting on eggs, due to hatch any day now!
The new parents are doing well, baby Basil is growing bigger by the day, a testament to her parents care in the early days. Basil is the 12th King chick to be born here at SEA LIFE Melbourne and we can’t wait to welcome more in the coming weeks.
Visitors had their first glimpse of Basil today during her daily health check-up, which included the tiny chick being weighed in kitchen-style scales! Welcomed into the world in the early hours on 16 January, weighing approximately 218 grams, she now weighs in at 247 grams.
This adorable little chick is still dwarfed by her mum and dad as she takes refuge under their brood patch but it won’t be long till she outgrows her parent’s shelter.
King chicks are covered in dark brown-grey down feathers, which are not waterproof, so they will remain under the care of adults until they moult into their waterproof layer of feathers, this takes until the age of 10 to 13 months.
Kings are the most dedicated parents in the penguin family. Both parents have shared duties over the eight week incubation period and will continue to do so for the chick.
The Bird Keepers are also keeping a close eye on the new arrival’s future friends with other King penguin pairs still sitting on eggs, they are anticipating the arrival of more chicks in the coming weeks.
The hatching process, known as pipping is a tough and drawn out event, which can take several days. SEA LIFE Melbourne is one of very few places where you can see this amazing ritual unfold up close.
Waddle in and be amongst the first to see little Basil this summer holidays!