Penguin babies born at Moody Gardens

December 22, 2008 1:08:48 PM PST
A perfect holiday gift arrived in Galveston as two gentoo penguin babies were born at Moody Gardens® on Dec. 12 and Dec. 19. They were the first two penguin births this year, making the holidays even more meaningful for the healing island as recovery efforts progress following Hurricane Ike. [SIGN UP: Get headlines and breaking news sent to you]

"Everyone loves the warm and fuzzy," said Diane Olsen, assistant curator at the Aquarium Pyramid, referring to the fuzzy penguin chicks as well as the heartwarming reaction they seem to trigger. "As a Galveston resident myself, I know we can appreciate each of these wonderful occurrences this year."

Despite intermittent power, emergency power and a few days of life support through oxygen tanks and air rocks following Hurricane Ike, the Moody Gardens penguins started breeding activities right after the storm, signaling optimal conditions and behavior in the penguin habitat, Olsen said. Staff is expecting 11 more eggs of various species to hatch in the coming weeks.

It takes about six to nine months for king penguin chicks to become full-grown adults while gentoo babies take two to three months on average.

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