NATIONAL NEWS

Chicago’s Shedd Aquarium welcomes its first rockhopper penguin chick in 8 years

Jul 13, 2023, 10:10 AM

The newest member of Shedd Aquarium's penguin population, a southern rockhopper chick who hatched o...

The newest member of Shedd Aquarium's penguin population, a southern rockhopper chick who hatched on June 16, is weighed during a daily wellness exam, Thursday, July 13, 2023, in Chicago. The chick's parents, Edward and Annie, became famous in 2020 as part of the aquarium's "field trips," where penguins would visit locations such as the nearby Field Museum and Soldier Field while the aquarium was closed during the pandemic. (AP Photo/Erin Hooley)
Credit: ASSOCIATED PRESS

(AP Photo/Erin Hooley)

CHICAGO (AP) — It’s bright and early at Chicago’s Shedd Aquarium and the penguin population’s newest member is ready for a wellness check.

A fuzzy brown southern rockhopper chick is gently plopped onto a scale in an exam room and Shedd’s penguin team members are happy with the results. So, it seems, is the chick, who waves its flippers in the air and stretches out its neck.

“You’re doing the happy flaps!” says senior trainer Katy Roxbury, who offers the chick bits of herring.

The first southern rockhopper penguin hatched at Shedd in eight years came out of its shell on June 16. The aquarium made modifications to the exhibit area and brought in a few new female penguins last year as part of the rockhopper breeding program. Shedd’s penguin colony also includes Magellanic penguins.

“We were very excited when we found out that this egg was fertile,” says penguin and otter supervisor Megan Vens-Policky. “We’ve been monitoring it closely. We’re seeing great growth and we’re seeing very attentive behavior from the parents, so we couldn’t be happier with how things are going.”

The chick’s parents, Edward and Annie, became famous in 2020 when they joined the aquarium’s “field trips,” visiting locations such as the nearby Field Museum and Soldier Field while the aquarium was closed due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

During the daily wellness exam, the chick is weighed to see how much food it’s getting from mom and dad. Aquarium team members also offer additional food items, which helps the chick become comfortable with being handled.

The chick will remain nameless for three months while the penguin team focuses on its health and development. The sex of the chick will be determined by testing DNA from inside its egg shell.

Shedd is part of the Species Survival Plan, a global conservation program designed to optimize the genetics and health of the rockhopper population within accredited zoos and aquariums.

“The southern rockhopper population is a population of concern out in the wild so it’s one we definitely want to learn more about,” says Vens-Policky.

National News

A second-floor balcony at the Hemingway Home & Museum in Key West, Florida, on Wednesday, July 17, ...

Associated Press

Ernest Hemingway fans celebrate the author’s 125th birthday in his beloved Key West

KEY WEST, Fla. (AP) — Ernest Hemingway spent the 1930s in Key West, Florida, and more than six decades after his death, fans, scholars and relatives continue to congregate on the island city to celebrate the author’s award-winning novels and adventure-filled life. Hemingway Days started in 1981 with a short-story competition and a look-alike contest. […]

8 minutes ago

Associated Press

Salt Lake City wildfire prompts mandatory evacuations as more than 100 firefighters fight blaze

Salt Lake City officials have ordered residents to evacuate some areas ahead of a wildfire as more than 100 firefighters work to contain the blaze. Helicopters and airplanes were dropping buckets over the flames Saturday as ground crews tried to contain the fire on Ensign Peak. The first fire crew was dispatched around 4:30 p.m. […]

26 minutes ago

Democratic Speaker Emerita Nancy Pelosi speaks at the North Carolina Democratic Unity Dinner fundra...

Associated Press

Pelosi delivers speech to NC Democrats with notable absence — Biden’s future as nominee

RALEIGH, N.C. (AP) — In a state expected to help decide the presidency, House Speaker Emerita Nancy Pelosi did little to quell speculation on President Joe Biden’s path forward as the Democratic nominee to a room full of North Carolina Democrats on Saturday. Pelosi addressed more than 900 people at the North Carolina Democratic Party […]

2 hours ago

Associated Press

89-year-old comedian recovering after she was randomly punched on New York street

NEW YORK (AP) — An 89-year-old comedian is recovering after being randomly punched and knocked to the ground while waiting to cross a street in New York earlier this month. D’yan Forest said she had just stopped at a coffee shop and was heading to a swimming pool when someone came up to her from […]

3 hours ago

The Butler Farm Show, site of a campaign rally for Republican presidential candidate former Preside...

Associated Press

Gunman in Trump rally attack flew drone over rally site in advance of event, official says

WASHINGTON (AP) — The gunman in the attempted assassination of former President Donald Trump is believed to have flown a drone around the Pennsylvania rally site ahead of time in an apparent attempt to scope out the site before the event, a law enforcement official said Saturday. The drone has been recovered by the FBI, […]

7 hours ago

Republican presidential candidate former President Donald Trump and Melania Trump during the final ...

Associated Press

Trump campaign releases letter on his injury, treatment after last week’s assassination attempt

NEW YORK (AP) — Donald Trump’s campaign released an update on the former president’s health Saturday, one week after he survived an attempted assassination at a rally in Butler, Pennsylvania. The memo, from Texas Rep. Ronny Jackson, who served as Trump’s White House physician, offers new details on the nature of the GOP nominee’s injuries […]

8 hours ago

Chicago’s Shedd Aquarium welcomes its first rockhopper penguin chick in 8 years