Teacup-sized penguin chicks going to fish school
Two African penguin chicks have recently hatched at the California Academy of Sciences. The academy is located in San Francisco's Golden Gate Park.
The gray, fluffy chicks hatched just days apart on November 1 and November 4. They are nesting with their parents, a spokesperson for the academy said.
The chicks are each the size of a tea cup. They will go through "fish school" to become proficient swimmers. They need to get comfortable with eating hand-fed fish. Once they are ready, they will join the penguin colony on exhibit in late January.
The academy's two chicks are the second and third to be hatched as part of its Species Survival Plan program. In January 2013, the academy hatched its first chick since moving into its new Golden Gate Park facility in 2008.
African penguins were classified as an endangered species in 2010. They are at very high risk of extinction in the wild.
"We hope to inspire people around the world to join us by supporting conservation efforts locally and internationally," said Bart Shepherd. He is director of the Academy's Steinhart Aquarium.
Critical thinking challenge: Why are these chicks part of the Academys Species Survival Plan program?