Moody Gardens, Galveston welcomes a new King penguin

Moody Gardens Aquarium is excited to welcome a new King penguin for 2021.

GALVESTON, Texas – Recently, Moody Gardens has added a new penguin to their aquarium. This new penguin chick hatched at 192 grams.

When these penguins are in the wild, they are considered typically full-grown at 2 years old. King penguins are ready to feed and swim on their own, after 10 months.

Maggie Reynolds, a senior staff keeper, said everyone was excited to welcome the new creature around New Year’s.

“My name is Maggie Reynolds, I’m one of the senior keepers here at the Penguin Exhibit at Moody Gardens and we are really excited to introduce to you today. The newest member of our penguin colony, which is actually a King Penguin Chick that hatched out on New Year’s Day. So this chick is actually from Watson, is the dad, our male and he’s actually one of the original penguin’s that we brought back here and collected as eggs before the aquarium opened. The female, the mom is actually named Astro, as some of you might remember the naming contest we had for her back in 2018,” she said.

King penguins are the largest species of penguins at Moody Gardens and the 2nd largest in the world. An easy way to differentiate them from other penguins is their bright orange patches on the side of their head and the top of their chest.

Another interesting part of this story is the King penguin chick made Astro a first time mother and the senior keepers say she is doing a great job as a first time mom.

“The chick when it hatched on New Year’s Day was about 200 grams and now at about 2 weeks old, has tripled in weight. We are super excited to see all the growth that the chick has had and how well Astro has adjusted to this part of her life,” Reynolds said.

King penguins are used to a colder, sub-Antarctic environment which influenced the staff to design their exhibit and habitat as South Georgia island, which is where their original king penguins came from (as eggs).

The entire staff is excited for this new addition and they can’t wait to share the journey’s of both penguins with visitors as they come.

Click here for more about Moody Gardens, Galveston.

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