Baby penguins off to swimming start

PRESS RELEASE: Sea Life Kelly Tarlton’s Auckland

The newest additions to the sub-Antarctic penguin family at Sea Life Kelly Tarlton’s Auckland are off to a swimmingly good start to life as they made a splash in their first aquatic lessons.

The 14 Gentoo penguin chicks were given a routine health check by the keepers who monitored their flippers, beaks and weights before all chicks were given the all-clear to jump in for a swim with the assistance of Penguin Team Leader Madeline Seaman.

“Gentoo penguins are the fastest underwater swimming bird in the world clocking speeds of up to 36kph” says Sea Life Kelly Tarlton’s Head Curator, Andrew Christie. “These chicks have just finished fledging their fluffy chick feathers down, and have grown their first ever waterproof plumage. So as you can see, they weren’t keen on wasting any time, diving right in to perfect the skill and live up to their reputations.

“Next up, just like school, they will learn how to get along with their fellow penguin mates! They are at the awkward pre-teen stage at the moment where they don’t know exactly how to behave social and are making a lot of mistakes, but it is great fun watching them learn and develop!!”

The penguins hatched during last year’s successful breeding efforts and marked one of the most successful seasons yet for the Auckland attraction, which has now facilitated twenty-one breeding seasons.

Activities such as today’s swimming lessons are part Sea Life Kelly Tarlton’s penguin enrichment program, where the penguin team continuously enhance and change the penguin’s environment to encourage the development of complicated social skills and increase behavioural diversity.

Currently on display in Penguin Discovery, guests to the attraction will be able to see the chicks for themselves within the main colony exploring their new home or enjoying a fish feed. Sea Life Kelly Tarlton’s Penguin Passport also allows guests to go on to the ice and see the chicks even closer and learn all about them through a guided tour.

So waddle you waiting for? For more information or to purchase tickets to Sea Life Kelly Tarlton’s Auckland, visit: https://www.kellytarltons.co.nz

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