FORT WALTON BEACH, Fla. (WKRG) — The baby African black-footed penguin that was hatched on December officially has a name: Timmy. The Gulfarium also has two new baby chicks They hatched last week.
The first three weeks after a chick is hatched, they hide under their parents until they are ready to venture out themselves in the habitat. The penguins are grey and fluffy for the first year of their life. After that, their colors transition to black and white.
“We haven’t had any chicks for about 10 years,” said Bryan Martin, director of animal management. “These penguins are endangered, and it’s really important to us to make sure we are preserving the species. In 2020 we will potentially have six chicks.”
The Gulfarium has also announced it has three eggs in the incubator that are expected to hatch this spring. The Gulfarium has turned its focused to breeding these endangered penguins by giving them the optimal habitat.
The African black-footed penguins are native to South Africa. There were many oil spills from ships hitting shallow parts of the sea floor, causing the species to become endangered.
You can see the penguins up close at the Gulfarium.