SAN FRANCISCO (KRON) — Five penguin chicks took a “March of the Penguins” to celebrate graduation on Saturday, according to a press release from the San Francisco Zoo & Gardens
The five Magellanic penguin chicks, two females and three males, hatched between mid-April and May. They took the march–more of a waddle–in honor of their graduation. Hundreds of guests gathered to celebrate and watch the penguins’ first swim at their new home on Penguin Island.
The chicks recently completed “fish school,” which taught them how to eat whole fish, swim, and socialize with their caretakers. The penguin chicks will join a community of 54 resident penguins. The guest of honor at the ceremony, the Consul General of Ukraine (San Francisco), Kushneruk Dmytro, named one of the penguins Nadiya; he brought his family to see the march. The Zoo also welcomed special guests, a Ukranian mother and her children to the festivities.
A zoo donor named two penguins “Handy Harry” and “Princess Cecilia.” A fourth name was in honor of the penguin’s Chilean roots, “Agua.” One penguin has not yet been named.
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According to the Zoo, Magellanic penguins (Speniscus magellanicus) live on the coasts of Chile and Argentina. The species is listed as “near threatened” by the IUCN due to oil spills and declining fish populations.
The San Francisco Zoo supports the most successful breeding colonies of Magellanic penguins that live under human care. The Zoo is part of a nationally-coordinated Species Survival Plan through the Association of Zoos and Aquariums.