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.