NEW ORLEANS (WGNO) — New Orleans’ Audubon Aquarium is celebrating the birth of its newest member — a male penguin chick.

Born to proud penguin parents Ocio and Hubig, the African black-footed chick was hatched in an incubator in February and is currently being cared for by Audubon staffers. Officials say he lives off a special liquid diet with round-the-clock feedings until he is big enough to consume fish.

Although not quite grown into his black and white feathers, the chick is looking as cute as can be in his fluffy gray down coat. Another part of growing into his role as a penguin is learning to swim — something officials say he will need training for until he’s fully accustomed to aquatic life.

“African black-footed penguins are extremely endangered in the wild, so each new chick is important for the species survival,” said Bill Robles, Curator of Birds at Audubon Aquarium.  

There is no word yet on the chick’s name, but Aududon curators say he will soon have something that fits his Louisiana roots. The chick has two siblings: Moon, who still lives at Audubon, and Zion, who is living his best life with a new colony at the Maryland Zoo.

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