The Little Blue Penguin family at Adventure Aquarium in Camden, New Jersey, grew by one this month when penguins Kirra and Spud welcomed their first hatchling.
And now, you get a chance to name it! In honor of the COVID-19 crisis, the choices are Grace, Hope, Melody and Aroha, a Māori word that roughly translates to "love" or "big love." Click here to vote for your favorite.
When she was born, Adventure Aquarium said the chick weighed about as much as a golf ball. Since then, the chick has grown to 11.6 ounces.
“We’re thrilled to report our Little Blue Penguin chick is doing well and growing strong. The chick is exhibiting normal behaviors, growing, active, and very vocal," the aquarium's general curator, Nicole Grandinetti, said in announcing the momentous birth on Tuesday. "Our animal care team continues to closely monitor her to ensure her health remains stable and positive during these critical first few weeks after birth. We are pleased to have a new addition to our Little Blue Penguin colony.”
The hatchling is now eating adult fish and will soon join mom and dad in the Little Blue Beach section of the aquarium.
Little Blue Penguins can be found along coastlines and in-shore waters of Southern Australia and New Zealand. They are the smallest species of penguin in the world, only growing an average of 10 to 12 inches in height and weighing about 2.5 pounds. This small size has given them the nickname “fairy penguins."
Breaking news and the stories that matter to your neighborhood.
There are less than one million little blue penguins in the world, and typically live 10 to 20 years. Adventure Aquarium along the Delaware Riverfront in Camden is one of six facilities in the U.S to have little blue penguins as permanent residents.
Although the Adventure Aquarium is closed due to COVID-19, they are encouraging guests to visit their Instagram, Facebook and Twitter for a chance to name the new chick.