April 29, 2020
The Adventure Aquarium in Camden introduced its newest addition this week — a baby girl little blue penguin — and the aquarium is asking for help picking her name.
The hatchling was born on April 2 to Kirra and Spud, the aquarium announced. She weighed less than two ounces at birth.
"We're thrilled to report our little blue penguin chick is doing well and growing strong," Nicole Grandinetti, Adventure Aquarium's general curator told CBS3. "The chick is exhibiting normal behaviors, growing, active, and very vocal. Our animal care team continues to closely monitor her to ensure her health remains stable and positive during these critical first few weeks after birth. We are pleased to have a new addition to our Little Blue Penguin colony."
The options for chick's name are Grace, Hope, Melody, and Aroha-Māori — which means love and compassion for the environment in Māori, the language of the indigenous people of New Zealand. The names were chosen to honor the "unsung heroes" of the coronavirus pandemic. You can cast your vote here.
The aquarium posted a video of the spunky hatchling, showing a biologist feeding the bird trout, silversides, and herring filets. The biologist notes that caretakers only begin handling the chick after it reaches certain developmental milestones in order to acclimate it to human care. The bird will eventually join the aquarium's Little Blue Beach exhibit.
Little blue penguins are the smallest species of the flightless bird in the world — growing to 10 to 12 inches tall and weighing about 2.5 pounds. They are indigenous to New Zealand and southern Australia and populate the countries' coastlines and inshore waterways.
The Adventure Aquarium is temporarily closed due to the coronavirus pandemic. Fans of aquatic animals still can visit the aquarium's website for children's activities, like worksheets, and subscribe to the aquarium's Facebook page and Twitter account for updates about the animals.