SeaWorld penguin celebrates one month birthday

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A baby penguin that hatched at SeaWorld in San Diego will turn one month old Tuesday Oct. 12.

SeaWorld aviculturist Christy Simeone holds the baby penguin

SeaWorld’s penguin encounter is the lone North American breeding center for emperor penguins, and last month marked the first successful hatching in eight years.

The fluffy 7-inch-tall, 2-pound chick was approximately the height and weight of a half-filled can of soda at birth.

The penguin’s vocal chords hadn’t matured enough for caretakers to decipher the chick’s gender until recently, when they discovered it’s a female.

Currently, the bird is fed a special diet six times per day in a chilled nursery, and will not be on public display with the other penguins for at least two months. Meanwhile, the baby penguin will be raised by caretakers.

Here’s a look at SeaWorld’s chirping new addition:

SeaWorld's new addition

The emperor penguin is the same breed featured in the 2005 film, March of the Penguins. But the 35-year-old parents of this San Diego-born chick have a much easier time of parenting than the wild penguins of Antarctica do as depicted in the Academy Award winning documentary. At SeaWorld, the annual eggs laid by female penguins are simply placed in an incubator. And this year, female emperor penguins laid 11 eggs with the newborn bird representing the 21st time they’ve hosted a successful hatching.

Pictures provided by SeaWorld.

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