Category: Babies

GIVING THANKS: NEW AND ADOPTED BABY PENGUINS HATCH AT MOODY GARDENS

Thanksgiving is a time to be grateful, and we’re offering a very warm welcome for several healthy Macaroni penguin chicks, which includes the hatching of the six eggs recently brought from Sea World San Diego and the very significant bonus of two others being the first successful hatching of the Macaroni penguin species from pairs already calling the South Atlantic exhibit home.

 

The six eggs from Sea World San Diego made quite a journey traveling on a commercial flight following a streamlined process initiated by their keepers in California. Once arriving at Moody Gardens they were placed in an incubator and cared for by staff until it was time for them to make their debut. These eggs seemingly couldn’t wait to join the Moody Gardens family as their anticipated hatch dates were set for Nov. 25-28 but the hatching started on Nov. 22 and continued through the weekend so that all six eggs have already hatched out.

 

“We are extremely grateful and excited for these new chicks to join the exhibit here at Moody Gardens,” said Assistant Curator Diane Olsen. “They received excellent care from the staff at Sea World San Diego and we are ready to continue that care as these chicks continue to grow and mature.”

 

In addition to these “adopted” penguin babies joining the South Atlantic Penguin Exhibit, two other native Macaroni penguin pairs are celebrating Thanksgiving with babies of their own.

 

The first native chick hatched on Nov. 17. The proud penguin parents are Bleu, a male who came to Moody Gardens from the Biodome in Montreal, Canada in 2007, and Gorgonzola, a female hatched at Sea World San Diego who arrived at Moody Gardens in 2017.

 

A few days later on Nov. 21, the second native chick made its debut. Its parents are Munster, a male also from the Biodome who came to Moody Gardens in 2007 and Gouda, a female from Newport Aquarium who moved into the South Atlantic exhibit in 2015.

 

Munster, Bleu, Gorgonzola and Gouda are just four of the Macaroni penguins calling Moody Gardens’ home. Their friends in the exhibit have names like Brie, Pepper Jack, Colby and more, in keeping with the whimsical tradition instituted by their biologists. Since these new chicks are the first in a second generation of Macaroni penguins at Moody Gardens their keepers have decided to name them after pastas to go along with the existing theme of cheeses for a little more biologist fun.

 

“Biologists like their puns and having animals like the Macaroni penguins gives us a great opportunity to show off our fun side,” Olsen said.

 

Stay tuned to Moody Gardens’ social media as we continue to share more exciting updates about the newest additions to our penguin family.

A Special Surprise for Moody Gardens

This holiday season has begun with some exciting news for us here at Moody Gardens. On November 21st and November 23rd, two baby Gentoo penguins joined our family! Born to the penguin parents of Champ and Casper, the two chicks have already tripled in size. The newly hatched chicks when first weighed by our biologists came in at 324 grams and 272 grams. Chick A and Chick B as they are called for now will have real names once the sex is determined. These two baby chicks are the first of the penguin breeding season.

“We currently have eight penguin eggs, so it seems that our birds are off to a good start,” said Diane Olsen, assistant curator, Moody Gardens. “Both chicks are healthy and adorable of course. We look forward to seeing what the rest of the season will bring.”

If you want to see more of these two adorable penguin chicks then come visit them in the penguin South Atlantic exhibit in the Moody Gardens Aquarium Pyramid. You will have to keep a close eye out for these small chicks because they do spend most of their time protected by their parents. For a closer view then look at our live penguin web cam located on the Moody Gardens website Penguin Camera.

Very Rare Pygmy Loris Twins Born at Moody Gardens

Moody Gardens is proud to introduce pygmy slow loris twins born on March 22. Breeding of this species is often challenging and largely rare in captivity. In fact, this is only one of five pygmy slow loris births in captivity in North America over the past year.

“This is such an exciting event,” said Paula Kolvig, assistant curator at Moody Gardens. “We have been keeping a very close eye on these babies, and we are very pleased to see steady growth so far.”

The addition of the twins is a valuable boost to the population of this primitive primate species called prosimians that are found in tropical forests of Vietnam, China and Cambodia.  Currently, there are only about 75 pygmy slow lorises in North American zoos and aquariums and fewer than 200 in captivity worldwide. Due to numerous environmental threats, the wild population is dwindling, and the species is listed as a threatened species by U.S. Fish & Wildlife Services.

To bring this mammal back from the brink of extinction, the Association of Zoos and Aquariums, of which Moody Gardens is an accredited member, created a Species Survival Plan program for the pygmy slow loris. The birth was a great success of this cooperative breeding and conservation program, which helps ensure the survival of the species in both wild and captivity.

The baby boy and girl were born between mother Luyen and father Icarus. The parents are ten and 14 years of age and have been members of the Moody Gardens animal collection since 2004.

“Luyen has been a very attentive and good mother to the twins,” said Kolvig. “The babies stay attached to their mom for the majority of the day, taking plenty of opportunities to nurse.”

Visitors will be able to see both the parents and the twins in the Rainforest Pyramid once the $25 million enhancement project is completed in May 2011. The mother normally nurses her young until they reach approximately nine-months-old. Until then, the attentive mother will continue to pamper her kids behind the scenes. For information, visit moodygardens.org or call 800-582-4673.

Moody Gardens® is a public, non-profit, educational destination utilizing nature in the advancement of rehabilitation, conservation, recreation, and research.

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