CHATTANOOGA, Tenn. (WVLT) -- The Tennessee Aquarium in Chattanooga announced the hatching of two healthy penguin chicks.
Caretakers say the fluffy little bundles of joy are doing well after a very long, and painstaking hatching process that lasted for nine hours on June 9.
One is a Macaroni penguin and the other is a Gentoo.
During the early stages of life, the little penguins have to be carefully watched and removed from their exhibit by a team of animal care specialists at the aquarium.
Senior Aviculturist Loribeth Lee said the chicks are growing at a healthy rate.
“They are right within the weight range they should be and are doing well,”Lee said.
“Growth will slow down, obviously, but their gains have been impressive.”
Caretakers won't know the gender of the chicks until results from a DNA report are returned from the lab. For now, they don't have names, but the aquarium intends to host a Facebook poll to let the public vote on their names.
“Having chicks this year is exciting,”she says.
“It was nice to have an off-year last year, but everybody loves penguin babies.”
The Macaroni chick the fourth for its mother, Chaos, and the second for its father, Merlin. The Gentoo is the sixth for veteran parents Bug and Big T, who also raised Big Foot, the colony’s youngest bird prior to the arrival of the newest chicks.