Two penguin chicks hatch at UK aquarium

The pair of gentoo penguins were born to parents Ripley and Elton at Sea Life London Aquarium.

The arrival of two penguin hatchlings is being celebrated at a UK aquarium.

The two chicks, the only two gentoo penguins successfully bred in England this year, were born to parents Ripley and Elton following a breeding season that took place during lockdown at Sea Life London Aquarium.

One of the chicks, which weighed in at 105g and 98g, is now being reared by its biological parents, while the other has been adopted by another established pair at the aquarium, Max and Snork.

Catherine Pritchard, the aquarium’s general manager, said: “It’s incredibly special to have not just one, but two new chicks to have successfully hatched at the London Aquarium proving lockdown love also existed in our gentoo penguin colony.

“We can’t wait to see the hatchlings grow and develop under the watchful eyes of their proud parents Ripley and Elton, and Max and Snork.”

Penguins at Sea Life London Aquarium
One of the chicks with a parent bird soon after hatching (Sea Life London Aquarium/PA)

The two chicks will not be named until their sex has been established.

The first chick began to break through its egg – a process called pipping – in May, and the other followed soon after.

A penguin chick at Sea Life London Aquarium
A gentoo penguin chick (Sea Life London Aquarium/PA)

They are said to be integrating well with the rest of the colony and are being watched closely by staff at the aquarium who continue to monitor their progress.

Ms Pritchard said: “The continued success of our gentoo breeding programme here at Sea Life London Aquarium is down to the fantastic work of our expert animal care team and we can’t wait for our guests to meet the new chicks for themselves.”

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