MYSTIC, Conn. (WTNH) — Mystic Aquarium held a gender reveal for penguin chicks Friday and News 8 got a behind-the-scenes look.
There are three chicks that are around three and a half months old now.
Their moms’ feet were painted either pink or blue. They then walked across a white piece of cardboard to reveal the gender of their chick, which also made for some pretty cute penguin paintings.
The paintings revealed two boys and a girl!
The gender of these chicks was also a mystery to the staff at the aquarium until they turned three months old. That is when a blood sample was taken and they were able to figure it out.
The penguins are already trained to do the enrichment behavior where they walk across a white board to create a penguin painting.
“Believe it or not it’s actually for their healthcare,” said Tracy Camp, supervisor of penguins at Mystic Aquarium. “Our veterinarians need to check over our penguins’ feet and sometimes if they have a cut or scrape, we might need to apply medicine.”
The gender reveal was done on this Endangered Species Day, which falls on the third Friday in May, to help bring awareness to the African penguins and the other endangered species at the aquarium.
“Unfortunately, their population has declined by over 97 percent just in the last 100 years,” Camp said.
The little guys and gal, however, could help with that by boosting populations at zoos and aquariums which then may help raise awareness about penguins in the wild.
The chicks will be paired up with a lifelong mate in a few years, at Mystic Aquarium or at another facility.
“We have some of our penguins in our colony that have been mated together now for over 30 years,” Camp said.
The chicks will be taking their very first swim on May 25.