First emperor penguin chick hatched at SeaWorld San Diego since 2010
The first emperor penguin chick hatched at SeaWorld San Diego since 2010 is set to make its first appearance soon to the general public, it was announced Wednesday.
The chick was hatched Sept. 12, marking a rare event not just for SeaWorld but also the world at large due to emperor penguins' status as a threatened species under the Endangered Species Act.
SeaWorld says emperor penguin populations have been impacted by record-low Antarctic sea ice and rising sea levels caused by climate change. Emperor penguins require sea ice as their newly hatched chicks cannot swim or survive in the oceans because they lack waterproof feathers, according to SeaWorld.
Outside of Antarctica, SeaWorld San Diego is the only site in the Western Hemisphere where emperor penguins can be seen by the public. SeaWorld says that its Penguin Encounter is home to around 300 penguins, including 17 emperor penguins.
``Bringing this chick into the world and ensuring her well-being and survival around the clock has been a very rewarding process for me and the entire SeaWorld Aviculture team," said Justin Brackett, curator of Birds at SeaWorld San Diego.
``Every decision regarding her well-being was made with the utmost care and consideration by our expert team and veterinary staff. We are looking forward to learning more about her and watching her unique personality develop as she continues to grow."