Aquarium keepers dealing with pair of penguin chicks - WRCBtv.com | Chattanooga News, Weather & Sports

Aquarium keepers dealing with pair of penguin chicks

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CHATTANOOGA, TN (WRCB) -- Tennessee Aquarium aviculturists have their hands full caring for a pair of macaroni penguin chicks.

"These baby penguins are absolutely adorable with fuzzy flippers, oversized feet and pudgy little bellies," said senior aviculturist Amy Graves. "They are portly, but that's great. We like to see vocal chicks that spend a good part of their day begging their parents for food."

The first baby was born on May 24th to parents Hercules and Shamrock. This is their first chick at the Aquarium and the parents appear to be very diligent, although they don't share the same duties.

"Hercules is the protector. He only feeds the chick about 10 percent of the time," said aviculturist Loribeth Aldrich. "But he is constantly watching over the baby even when mom is in the nest."

Fortunately, Aldrich says Shamrock really has a strong feeding instinct that more than satisfies a very vocal, and very hungry chick.

"Normally chicks will beg and beg for food, but I've actually seen her feed this chick so full that he just stops begging," said Aldrich. "He's like, I've had enough."

Aquarium guests can see this baby penguin near the center of the exhibit inside an acrylic "playpen" which keeps it from accidently going into the water before it grows large enough to do so safely.

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