New England Aquarium welcomes newest member of penguin colony

The New England Aquarium shared this photo of Bray, a 3-month-old African penguin.

BOSTON (WLNE) — An African penguin chick that hatched back in March at the New England Aquarium has joined the rest of the colony in their exhibit.

The female chick, who staff named “Bray,” referring to the donkey-like calls made by African penguins, hatched on March 23 and joined the rest of the colony on Wednesday.

Animal Care trainers and Bray’s own parents raised her behind-the-scenes from a hatchling to a fully-grown 6.6lbs, 42 times more than her weight when she hatched, the aquarium said.

Bray was hatched as a part of a conservation effort to save African penguins from their status on the list of endangered animals due to overfishing, oil spills, and climate change. Their population has declined 97% globally in the last century.

“In the early stages, the parents provide most of the care, just as they would in the wild,” said Senior Penguin Trainer Amanda Barr.

“As the chick grew, we started teaching her to be hand-fed by our Animal Care team so she would be ready to join the rest of the colony on exhibit,” Barr concluded.

Bray is now surrounded by several relatives, including her great-grandmother Deco, who is the oldest penguin at the Aquarium at 41 years-old.

Officials said since the 1970s, 108 African penguin chicks have hatched at the New England Aquarium. For more information on their endangered species conservation efforts, click here.

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