The northern rockhopper penguin chick that hatched on Saturday, October 2, is growing fast and furiously, according to the Two Oceans Aquarium. According to the Aquarium, Codi is the fourth chick hatched by parents Roxy and Grommet.
The Aquarium said via their website that the rockhopper penguins are some of the few animals in the Aquarium that are not from South African waters. These small, magnified birds are naturally found in the south Atlantic and Indian Oceans, with their breeding range restricted to only seven islands within this area.
The birds, Roxy and Grommet, were found stranded on Southern Cape beaches and were rehabilitated by the South African Foundation for the Conservation of Coastal Birds (SANCCOB) before finding a permanent home at the Aquarium. The pair already had three other offspring, Clax (2014, female), Harold Custard (2016, female) and Chippy Goodwill (2018, male). Together, they are known as the “Beakham Family”.
Codi hatched at a weight of 62g and is currently weighing in at more than a kilogram. However, the sex of the chick is not actually known as males and females are virtually indistinguishable. However, DNA testing will be done at a later stage to confirm its sex. The Aquarium expressed that despite Codi being inquisitive and adventurous, and having a big personality, this cute ball of fur started exploring the nest and has already started to integrate with the other penguins.
Rebecca Miller, who is a penguin volunteer at the Aquarium, describes the hatching as a special experience for her, saying that “I was lucky enough to witness the chick hatching which was such a special experience for me. It is a joy to see how well Roxy and Grommet are taking care of the chick and how it is growing.”
Meanwhile, like all the other penguins and animals at the Aquarium, Codi will continue to be looked after by a dedicated and passionate team. Visitors are also welcome to come and take a look at the chick either on the rockhopper beach area in the Penguin Exhibit.
Picture: Shanet Rutgers