SEA LIFE Sunshine Coast Aquarium is thrilled to announce the arrival of a little blue penguin chick. Proud, first-time parents Aqua and Bluey naturally waddled into parenthood and the team couldn’t be happier about this fluffy addition to the penguin colony.
To provide the perfect environment for development, as soon as the egg was laid, it was carefully replaced with a substitute to be artificially incubated. During this incubation period, both Aqua and Bluey took turns, attentively caring for the substitute egg, mirroring how they would have cared for their own.
Behind the scenes, the penguin team closely monitored the egg’s progress, checking it daily and ‘candling’ it weekly (shining a light through the shell) to ensure the chick’s healthy development. A little over one month later, a crack appeared in the egg, so it was quickly returned to the parents for hatching.
The hatching process was slow, so Mammals Manager Jess Hart, assisted over two days, delicately aiding the process by removing bits of shell and membrane until the chick could hatch.
Weighing just 49 grams at birth, the little blue penguin was weak and received round-the-clock care, including tube feeds with a special fish slurry. Aqua and Bluey took charge as the chick grew stronger, feeding their little bundle of joy, who’s ferocious appetite quickly led to a doubling in weight.
Jess Hart said, “Little blue penguins hold a special place in the heart of Australia, being the only species of penguin to breed on mainland shores. Aqua and Bluey have embraced their new role as parents enthusiastically, seamlessly adapting to family life and sharing the responsibilities of raising their chick, who is gaining weight and progressing well.
“We are all excited to watch the chick progress over the coming weeks as it ventures out to meet the rest of the colony and have its first swim!”
SEA LIFE Sunshine Coast invites guests to share the joy of this heart-warming journey as Aqua, Bluey, and their chick embark on their adventures together.
Guests can get up close with the playful penguins on a Penguin Encounter and discover a range of other marine and freshwater creatures at SEA LIFE Sunshine Coast, including sharks, rays, turtles and more!