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National Aviary in Pittsburgh welcomes baby penguins

Visitors can enter to win opportunity to get up-close to the babies

By: Marc Stempka

PITTSBURGH -- The National Aviary has welcomed two baby penguins, and the pair is now on display for the public to get a view.

The Aviary in Pittsburgh gave the media and the public the first chance to see the two African penguin chicks Thursday at their facility on the citys North Side.

The babies, a female, hatched on Nov. 29, and a male, hatched on Dec. 2, bring the number of African penguins in the facilitys colony to 18.

National Aviary Managing Director Cheryl Tracy said the pairs parents, Sidney and Bette, are doing well and have been wonderful at taking care of the babies.

They have been crucial to growing the African penguin population, so we're thrilled they have taken such good care of these two new chicks, Tracy said. The chicks are thriving, and we are very excited to share this journey with the public.

African penguins are endangered in the wild, and the penguins are part of an important breeding program for their species.

The two chicks will be placed in the Aviary's hospital nursery and can be seen by visitors through a window. The chicks will be hand-raised by staff before joining the rest of the colony in summer 2014 in the Penguin Point exhibit.

Visitors to the National Aviary from Dec. 26 through Jan. 3 can enter to win a baby penguin encounter and get up-close to the birds. Other additional penguin related activities will be added on select dates in January, including penguin parades, crafts, special talks and feedings, and baby penguin meet-and-greets.

(Video courtesy: WPXI-TV)

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Edgar Snyder

Washington Times