19 May 2010

Penguins – what’s in a name?

Alan, proud mom. Photograph by Helen Lockhart

Our penguins have been very busy little birds – there are two chicks on the beach in the Sappi River Meander Exhibit and we’re expecting more! What name should this little guy answer to?

Alan and Neptune’s chick is now three months old and he needs a name! Given that he is an African penguin and is proudly South African, we would like to give him a name that reflects his heritage.

Send us your ideas and you stand to win an encounter with one of our penguins if yours is the winning suggestion.

Email your name and contact details with “Name the penguin” in the subject line to aquarium@aquarium.co.za before 4 June, 2010 to enter.

George and Gaia are proud parents of a month-old chick (unsexed at the moment). Other penguin couples expecting are Dorris and Faraday with two eggs due to hatch in the last week of May and Diesel and Tasmyn incubating two eggs, due to hatch in the same week.

However, a word of caution – sometimes the eggs don’t hatch, but if they do, you probably won’t get to see much of the chicks until they are considerably older. The parents are very protective and remain in the nests while the chicks are growing.

Once the chicks are old enough, we send them to The Southern African Foundation for the Conservation of Coastal Birds (SANCCOB) for release into the wild. To date approximately 80 chicks have been released to join the colony of these endangered birds on Robben Island.

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