During an examination on Friday, the chick topped the scales at 990 grams. That’s nearly two pounds - more than double its weight from the previous weight of 484 grams recorded one week earlier. “It’s a little butterball. It still sticks its little head underneath the parents thinking we can’t see its round bottom,” said Graves. “But the baby is now so large it can’t fit under either ‘Paulie’ or ‘Chaos’ anymore.”
The chick is getting stronger and Graves has observed it sitting upright next to the parents for short periods of time. Soon keepers will have to keep an eye on a waddling chick, but the new playpen should help keep the baby from venturing too far from the nest once it develops the leg power to move around. “Soon the parents will begin feeding the chick more solid food and within a few weeks it might be eating small, whole fish,” Graves said.
Yet another surprise over the holiday weekend at “Penguins’ Rock.” Gentoo penguins “Zeus” and “Pebbles” now have two eggs in their nest. “If these new eggs are viable, they would hatch in mid-August,” Graves said. “So we may be really busy between now and then.”
Here’s where the penguin tally stands as of today:
Chaos and Paulie – macaroni penguins – one chick
Bug and Big T – gentoo penguins – one chick
Biscuit and Blue – gentoo penguins – one egg
Peep and Poncho – gentoo penguins – two eggs
Pebbles and Zeus – gentoo penguins – two eggs
Tennessee Aquarium inspires wonder and appreciation for the natural
world. Admission is $21.95 per adult and $14.95 per child, ages 3-12.
Each ticket purchased helps support Aquarium conservation programs. The
IMAX® 3D Theater is next door to the Aquarium. Ticket prices
$8.50 per adult and $6.00 per child. Aquarium/IMAX combo tickets are
$27.95 for adults and $19.95 for children. Excursions aboard the new
River Gorge Explorer depart daily into “Tennessee’s
Canyon.” Cruise tickets are $29.00 per adult and $21.50 per
(3-12). Advance tickets may be purchased online at www.tnaqua.org or by
phone at 1-800-262-0695. The Aquarium, located on the banks of the
Tennessee River in Chattanooga, is a non-profit organization. Open
every day except Thanksgiving and Christmas, the Aquarium and IMAX are
accessible to people with disabilities.