SeaWorld Has a New Leader

Wednesday, Oct 6, 2010  |  Updated 3:49 PM PDT
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Caretakers at the SeaWorld San Diego Penguin Encounter said it will be another month before they know the gender of the newest emperor penguin chick.
     
The sex of a chick is determined by it vocalizations, according to spokeswoman Alexandra Kuty. The 25-day-old chick will be introduced to the adult emperor colony when it is 4 months old.

"Having an emperor chick hatch is rare and special," said Stephanie Costelow, SeaWorld's curator of birds, "and we are making absolutely sure that the chick gets the utmost care and attention in a quiet, stress-free environment."

The penguin encounter is the only place in North America that successfully breeds emperor penguins. There were 10 eggs this year but only one chick, according to spokeswoman Alexandra Kuty. It is the 21st emperor penguin hatched at SeaWorld.
     
The chick weighed 12 ounces and was 4 inches tall when it was hatched. On Wednesday, it weighed nearly 2 pounds and is almost 7 inches tall. It will eventually be 4 feet tall and weigh around 99 pounds.
 

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