With the world being ravaged by COVID-19 – businesses closed, the streets lying empty and with the death tolls rising – seeing new life thrive despite the current conditions is a welcome sight.

At the Sumida Aquarium in Tokyo, the staff have been pleased to welcome 3 new Magellanic penguin chicks to the resident flock. An uplifting piece of information amongst such dire times.
This year marks the 8th year in a row that chicks have successfully hatched as part of the breeding programme – another win for the aquarium!

At the aquarium, the penguin breeding season lasts from March to May each year, with an incubation period for the eggs of around 42 days.
This year’s first chick was born to the penguin named “Fuji” on April 21st, and the penguin which goes by the name “Banana” successfully laid eggs for the first time, from which 2 hatchlings were confirmed on April 23 and April 27th (Magellanic penguins lay two eggs each year, but normally only one will hatch, so congratulations to Banana!)

The aquarium released a press release on the 12th of May, announcing that the three chicks are doing well, growing faster than the previous year’s young, and that they have been named after things that have been loved by the Japanese nation for generations – Omochi, Okome and Kinako.

The three babies are scheduled to make their penguin pool debut in early July. Their journey from birth to a master of swimming, and how they are raised by both their parents and the aquarium staff will be posted on the Sumida Aquarium official facebook and twitter pages.

The Sumida Aquarium is currently closed so as to stop the spread of coronavirus infection. For news on when the site will reopen, keep an eye out on the official aquarium website.

Name: Omochi
Parents: Akebia (father), Fuji (mother)
Date egg laid: March 13th
Date egg hatched: April 21st
Current body weight: 1,328 grams (as of May 11th)

Name: Okome
Parents: Marron (father), Banana (mother)
Date egg laid: March 13th
Date egg hatched: April 23rd
Current body weight: 1,273 grams (as of May 11th)

Name: Kinako
Parents: Marron (father), Banana (mother)
Date egg laid: March 17th
Date egg hatched: April 27th
Current body weight: 421 grams (as of May 11th)

By - Connie Sceaphierde.