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18 Jan 2019 15:57:22
Three months after capturing the hearts of the world in October 2018, the sex of Sea Life Sydney Aquarium’s first sub-Antarctic penguin chick (fostered by same-sex couple Sphen and Magic) can finally be confirmed after DNA test results have returned!
Sea Life Sydney Aquarium is excited to announce the penguin we’ve grown to love as ‘Baby Sphengic’ is……… a GIRL!
“After months of waiting – and regular questioning from the public – we’re so excited to finally have a confirmation that Baby Sphengic is a little girl!” says Tish Hannan, Penguin Department Supervisor. “We’ve started to see her personality shine in the last few weeks, and can confirm she is every bit the diva – or QWEEN – we would only expect her to be.
“Whilst it is very important for our keepers to know the sex of new members of the colony for population management, gender is a different thing entirely. As penguin parents share equal responsibility of raising young, building and maintaining the nest, gender roles aren’t defined in penguins. So whilst Baby Sphengic is a female on paper, that’s where the role ends. She’ll grow up to play both mummy and daddy one day – just like Sphen and Magic.
“The team is now putting their thinking caps on to come up with the most appropriate name for our little girl, and will definitely be sharing this with her fans, both locally and around the world, as soon as possible!”
After moulting its juvenile feathers, and growing its first ever waterproof plumage, the yet-to-be-named penguin chick recently dived and learnt to swim. While she wasn’t always a natural, she’s now perfected the art of swimming. The next step in Baby Sphengic’s development is learning how to feed under water.
Born as part of Sea Life Sydney Aquarium’s penguin breeding program on Friday 19th October at 5:45pm weighing just 91 grams, Baby Sphengic waddled into the history books. The much-loved chick is the attraction’s first sub-Antarctic penguin chick since the colony first joined the Darling Harbour family in November 2016. The baby chick will act as an ambassador for its species’ generation at Sea Life Sydney, and will help educate the public on the precious species and the plight that they face in the wild.
Guests can visit Sphen, Magic and their baby chick (adorably known for the moment as Baby Sphengic) in the Penguin Expedition exhibit at Sea Life Sydney Aquarium.