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Three penguin chicks waddle their way to new home in exhibit

The trio of birds reunite with parents, siblings after spending months in nursery since hatching in May.

Denny Cristales | Managing Editor

Three+penguin+chicks%2C+who+all+hatched+sometime+in+May%2C+officially+moved+in+with+their+parents+and+siblings+Thursday+at+the+Aquarium+of+the+Pacific%E2%80%99s+June+Keyes+Penguin+Habitat%2C+after+spending+months+in+the+facility%E2%80%99s+nursery.
Three penguin chicks, who all hatched sometime in May, officially moved in with their parents and siblings Thursday at the Aquarium of the Pacific’s June Keyes Penguin Habitat, after spending months in the facility’s nursery.

Three penguin chicks, who all hatched sometime in May, officially moved in with their parents and siblings Thursday at the Aquarium of the Pacific’s June Keyes Penguin Habitat, after spending months in the facility’s nursery.

Denny Cristales | Signal Tribune

Denny Cristales | Signal Tribune

Three penguin chicks, who all hatched sometime in May, officially moved in with their parents and siblings Thursday at the Aquarium of the Pacific’s June Keyes Penguin Habitat, after spending months in the facility’s nursery.

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Three penguin chicks reunited with their parents and siblings Thursday, Sept. 13, at the Aquarium of the Pacific’s June Keyes Penguin Habitat, officially making their public debut after hatching in May.

Thursday morning, the penguins– two females and one male ranging from eight to 10 pounds– were carted to the habitat, as media witnessed the trio of seabirds familiarize themselves with the outside surroundings of their soon-to-be new home.

Before experts placed them inside the exhibit, penguin expert Sara Mandel with Aquarium of the Pacific explained that Charles Annenberg, who sponsors explore.org, named one of the penguins Cleopatra, or “Cleo” for short, with his daughter. The other two will be named by an aquarium donor and any individual who signs up and pays $100 for the Adopt an Animal Program, respectively.

Roxy and Floyd, two inhabitants of the June Keyes Penguin Habitat, are the parents of two of the new juvenile chicks, who hatched one day apart on May 18 and 19. Cleo is daughter to Kate and Avery.

In a media release this week, the aquarium wrote that Floyd and Roxy are also parents to other penguin inhabitants, including Skipper, Lily, Heidi, Anderson and Gatz. Kate and Avery’s children are Jade and Fisher.

The aquarium also noted in its release that this is the sixth year penguin chicks have hatched on site. With the three new penguins, the total number of birds in the habitat is 23, according to Michele Sousa, assistant curator of birds and animals with Aquarium of the Pacific.
Mandel said four of the penguins– Robbie, Roxy, Avery and Kate– in the aquarium’s habitat were rescued from Rio de Janeiro, Brazil.

“We’re not quite sure how they ended up there,” she said. “We think maybe they got lost along the way. Maybe they were trying to follow the source of food, and they made a sort of u-turn and ended up in Rio, Brazil.”

Denny Cristales | Signal Tribune
On Thursday, Sept. 13, in front of the June Keyes Penguin Habitat, Sara Mandel, penguin expert with Aquarium of the Pacific (right), explains to the press that the three new penguin chicks (left) will soon reunite with their parents and siblings, all whom inhabit the aquarium’s exhibit. The trio of birds were officially moved into the habitat after spending months at the facility’s nursery since hatching in May.

Mandel said that penguins mate for life, jokingly adding that Roxy and Floyd have done a “really, really good job here at the Aquarium of the Pacific.”

“People ask if they are happy,” she said. “And, if they weren’t laying eggs and getting ready to make new penguins, then we would think something else. But, since they do lay eggs for us and have chicks for us every single year, we think that they are very happy birds, because that means they are in the right conditions to lay those eggs and raise their young.”

Minutes before the aquarium opened, aquarium experts grabbed the penguins and placed them inside the exhibit, where the trio seemingly waddled in a mixture of delight and awe, all while the other penguin inhabitants observed their new roommates.

It wasn’t long before Cleo and her two fellow penguins stretched their muscles and swam alongside one another inside the June Keyes Penguin Habitat.

The public can observe the penguins at the Aquarium of the Pacific’s exhibit during regular hours as of this week.

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Three penguin chicks waddle their way to new home in exhibit