MONTEREY, Calif. - The Monterey Bay Aquarium announced the recent hatching of an African blackfooted penguin chick.
The chick is now being cared for by its parents, Karoo and Messina, on exhibit in the "Splash Zone" family gallery.
The young unnamed chick, whose gender is unknown, hatched on exhibit the morning of June 4.
The chick weighed 6.9 ounces during a recent exam, more than three times the 2.1 ounces it weighed after hatching – indicating that it's eating well.
Experts caution that despite excellent parental and veterinary care, blackfooted penguin chicks have a high rate of mortality.
All of the birds are part of a species survival plan for threatened African blackfooted penguins.
This is the fifth chick hatched in the penguin colony at the aquarium.
The chick will remain with Karoo and Messina for about three weeks or until it starts leaving its nest. At that time, the family will be moved behind the scenes for the chick's safety. The aquarium said it can't be left on exhibit because it could accidentally drown or be injured by adult penguins.
After one to two years, the chick may stay in Splash Zone or move to another accredited zoo or aquarium.