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Penguins on parade at Point Defiance Zoo

Even penguins grow up so fast

Two Magellanic penguins born in May are now old enough to be on exhibit at Point Defiance Zoo & Aquarium. The chicks are the first born in Tacoma since 2006.
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Two Magellanic penguins born in May are now old enough to be on exhibit at Point Defiance Zoo & Aquarium. The chicks are the first born in Tacoma since 2006.

Two young Magellanic penguins are finally big enough to strut their stuff for visitors at Point Defiance Zoo & Aquarium.

The chicks, born in late May, are the first to hatch in Tacoma in the last 11 years. They’ve been living behind the scenes while they learn feeding schedules and grow wings and coarse feathers needed to swim.

Amanda Shaffer, lead penguin keeper, said the penguin chicks are making great progress.

“They are healthy and they did great while learning to dive into the off-exhibit pool, swim and then pull themselves out,” she said.

Penguins aren’t named at the zoo. Instead, they’re identified by the colors of their wing bands.

The boy is known as “red/white” and the girl is “pink/black.” Their parents are “Pink” and “Red.”

There are now 10 penguins in the colony, evenly split between males and females.

Magellanic penguins are native to the South American shores of Argentina, Chile, Uruguay and Brazil. They’re listed as near-threatened by the International Union for Conservation of Nature.

Stacia Glenn: 253-597-8653

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