Tennessee Aquarium Announces A New Pair Of Baby Gentoo Penguins

Tuesday, August 12, 2014 - by Thom Benson

What’s better than a new baby penguin at the Tennessee Aquarium? Two new baby penguins! The Gentoo chicks - born to two separate penguin pairs – are just over a month old and already showing their plucky penguin personalities.

The oldest, and the first Gentoo to hatch this year at the Aquarium, is the offspring of Biscuit and Blue. “This chick is already testing boundaries,” says Aquarium aviculturist Loribeth Aldrich. He or she is already curiously testing everything with its beak and continually knocking over mom and dad’s food bowl.” The chick already makes a hissing sound that adult Gentoos are known to do that is akin to a goose’s warning hiss. “It almost sounds like a deep Darth Vader noise,” said Ms. Aldrich.

The second chick was born to a very experienced pair, Bug and Big T. Right now this little bird is happiest in the nest, snuggled up behind mom and dad. However, during checkups and weigh-ins, this cuddly-looking chick shows familiar signs of his parents’ feisty attitudes. “With those genes, this is going to be one tough bird!” said Ms. Aldrich.

These two newest babies come on the heels of the Aquarium’s first Macaroni penguin chick announced last month. Aquarium penguin experts are also watching the activity of a few more breeding pairs, hoping for more chicks later this season.

With a current total of three chicks and the possibility of more, Curator of Forests Dave Collins explains that the success of the Tennessee Aquarium’s penguin breeding program stems largely from the careful preparation that began in 2007. “A strong husbandry program is key in making sure every bird’s needs are met,” he said. “Proper diet, a strict cleaning schedule and outstanding veterinary support are very important – especially during nesting season. These factors contribute to the best conditions possible for the colony, which are needed to encourage bonding, strong mating pairs and healthy chicks.”

Aquarium guests can view the two newest penguin babies by looking for the acrylic “playpens” inside Penguins’ Rock.  The chicks  will remain within the protective barriers for several weeks. “It won’t be safe for them to get in the water until they have grown their swim feathers,” explains Aldrich. “But you’ll see frequent feedings throughout the day as the parents try to keep up with the chicks’ rather voracious appetites.” 

Visitors can also add the Ocean Journey Backstage Pass to their Aquarium admission for a special bird’s-eye view of the colony from the penguin keeper’s observation deck.

 


Governor Haslam And Tennessee Tourism Commissioner Kevin Triplett Close Out 2016 Governor's Conference

Tennessee Governor Bill Haslam and Department of Tourist Development Commissioner Kevin Triplett addressed industry professionals on Friday during the 2016 Tennessee Governor’s Conference on Hospitality and Tourism in Chattanooga. Both brought words of appreciation and congratulations to industry members for another record-breaking year of growth, referencing economic impact numbers ... (click for more)

Tennessee Tourism Round Up: Must-Attend Fall Festivals

Tennessee’s upcoming tourism news is consolidated for your convenience below. For a complete list of Tennessee events, visit  tnvacation.com/calendar . Sept. 23-24 Tullahoma –  The annual  41A Music & Arts Festival  has music and entertainment, food and gift vendors in downtown Tullahoma. Sept. 23-25 Union City – ... (click for more)

DA Pinkston Files Petition To Declare 2 Gangs A Public Nuisance

District Attorney General Neal Pinkston filed a petition on Monday asking that two Chattanooga gangs, the Gangster Disciples and the Grape Street Crips, and their members be declared public nuisances. General Pinkston is also "asking that injunctive relief be given to the law-abiding residents of East Lake by establishing a Safety Zone that covers most of their neighborhood." ... (click for more)

2 Boaters Die In Suspected Carbon Monoxide Poisoning On Chickamauga Lake

Two boaters and their pet were pronounced dead at the scene of suspected carbon monoxide poisoning on Chickamauga Lake.  Kristy D. James and Mike L. Richardson of Chattanooga were reported missing to the Hamilton County Sheriff’s Office earlier in the day by a concerned family member. The boaters had not been heard from since Saturday. Tennessee Wildlife Resources ... (click for more)

Of Course Gangs Are A Public Nuisance

Now, I don't know it all.  Beginning with my parents, folks of all sorts have been actively pointing out my ignorance for more than seven decades now.  So I'm well aware that I don't know it all.  In recent months I've begun to develop an appreciation for the local work of Mr. Neal Pinkston; I've been impressed with several things he's been doing in his official ... (click for more)

Roy Exum: Arnold Palmer’s Greatness

This is hardly meant to be flippant but I’d be willing to bet I’ve been in the presence of more great people than anyone you know. I’ve never ranked them, or ever dared to wonder who was the greatest, such as Muhammad Ali or Elvis Presley, but there are two traits that those who reach the highest pinnacle have in common. First, not a one of them was any good at what made them famous ... (click for more)