SYDNEY, Australia (NBC) – Over the past month-and-a-half six baby Sea Life Sydney Aquarium has welcomed seven Gentoo penguins into the fold.
The babies were hatched in the aquariums sub-anatarctic zone, with the oldest arriving in mid-October and the youngest hatched just two weeks ago.
The babies are being closely monitored and weighed daily by a team of penguin caretakers.
Among parents of the new chicks are Magic and Sphen, the aquarium’s famous gay penguin couple, who adopted and hatched their second egg. Magic and Sphen made headlines in 2018 as the aquarium’s first Gentoo penguins to successfully incubate and raise a chick.
That egg was one of two from biological parents, as in the wild, Gentoo penguins only raise one chick at a time. The egg was given to the gay couple after aquarium workers saw the two had bonded and gave them a trial with a dummy egg. In 2018, an aquarium official told NBC that the couple doted on the adopted chick.
Kerrie Dixon, penguin supervisor at Sea Life said that Gentoo chicks have had an amazing breeding season at the aquarium this year.
She said chicks are monitored by a daily weigh-in because they can see any development through their weight. Right now, Dixon said, the youngest chick is about 300 grams and the oldest chick is about two kilos, adding, “so that happens really fast, in a matter of weeks.”