PITTSBURGH (KDKA) – The Pittsburgh Penguins don’t play for a couple days over Christmas, but another kind of Penguin inside the National Aviary has everyone buzzing.
They’re African Black Footed Penguins, and they’re not quite a month old. But they are the stars of the show at the National Aviary.
“We do a complete physical exam, checking everything from head to toe, to make sure they are developing well,” said Dr. Pilar Fish at the National Aviary. “They grow up really quickly and we want to make sure that every phase of growth is going well.”
The female chick hatched Nov. 29, her little brother about four days later. They’re the second set of chicks to the same parents, Sidney and Bette.
“It is a real accomplishment to have these chicks hatched in captivity,” Fish said. “And we are happy that we have them. They really do represent their species and every chick is important when you have such an endangered species such as the Black Footed Penguin.”
Now they are in full view for all to see in the aviary’s nursery.
“We are going to be hand feeding them now, monitoring them very carefully in the nursery and everybody who comes to the Aviary can see these babies in the nursery and then shortly — on Jan. 9 — we will be bringing them out for people to visit them more directly,” Fish said.
Despite their reputation as lovers of the cold, these African penguins actually like things a little bit more moderate. That’s why the rocks are heated and so is the water inside their exhibit.