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Penguin Movements, A Family Affair

First sub-Antarctic Gentoo Penguin chick of 2016 has arrived at SEA LIFE Melbourne Aquarium!

The Penguin Playground exhibit is buzzing with activity as one special penguin family makes big moves!

Star Gentoo penguin couple, K.T. (mum) and Mawson (dad) celebrated two major family milestones this week as they welcomed their first chick for 2016 while simultaneously saying goodbye to their eldest offspring as they headed off to Sydney. 

While the proud new parents were busy doting over their newest arrival Banjo, his elder siblings, Parky, Budda and Monty were busy making history as members of the first colony to move to Sydney for SEA LIFE Sydney Aquarium’s world first sub-Antarctic penguin experience, Penguin Expedition.

Affectionately named Banjo, the first Gentoo penguin chick of 2016 was welcomed into the world on 17 October, weighing 86 grams. Over the past 14 days he has developed a healthy appetite, now weighing in at 915 grams.

Today our Penguin Keepers commenced their daily routine of closely monitoring the chick with regular health checks and weigh-ins to ensure he is fighting fit.

We couldn’t be happier with his progression so far, both mum and dad are doing a great job of the multiple daily feeds and sharing the hard work,  It’s a big time for K.T. and Mawson’s family as the eldest siblings make the exciting move to Sydney. But mum and dad will be kept nice and busy as the newborn chick Banjo will rely on the parents for some time before becoming fully fledged in approximately three months.”

K.T. and Mawson are the epitome of romance, breeding together for the past five years.  2016 marks the sixth consecutive successful Gentoo penguin breeding season, confirming the program as one of the most successful in the world. It’s a true testament to the expert animal husbandry of the keepers and the meticulous recreation of the natural sub-Antarctic environment within the state-of-the-art exhibit.

Gentoo incubation period lasts approximately 38 days, with several Gentoo penguin pairs still sitting on eggs, keepers are hopeful to hear the pitter-patter of more happy feet in the coming weeks.

Through our educational daily Meet the Keeper presentations and back-of-house Penguin Passport experience, visitors can get face-to-face with these cheeky sub-Antarctic birds and discover all there is to know about keeping the future of this precious species safe for generations to come.

Penguin Playground exhibit is just one of the 12 amazing zones of discovery that you can visit 365-days-a-year, including Melbourne Cup Public Holiday. Guests can learn more about the Gentoo Penguin breeding program here, as well as further conservation work being undertaken at SEA LIFE attractions across Australia and New Zealand including; SEA LIFE Sydney Aquarium, Manly SEA LIFE Sanctuary, SEA LIFE Melbourne Aquarium, UnderwaterWorld SEA LIFE Mooloolaba and Kelly Tarlton’s SEA LIFE Aquarium.

 

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