News Releases


OdySea Aquarium Celebrates the Arrival of Three Endangered African Penguin Chicks

Thirteen Successful Hatchings to Date

SCOTTSDALE/SALT RIVER-MARICOPA INDIAN COMMUNITY, AZ (February 21, 2023) – OdySea Aquarium is thrilled to announce the hatching of three adorable African penguin chicks over the past several weeks, expanding the existing colony at Penguin Point to 40 birds. Melting hearts across OdySea, these tiny additions are considered highly valuable to the endangered African penguin species for their genetic diversity, and their arrival brings the number of successful hatchings at OdySea Aquarium to 13.

“As an endangered species, any successful hatching calls for a celebration,” said the Director of Animal Care and Education at OdySea Aquarium, Jess Peranteau. “As the population of the African penguin continues to rapidly decline – down 23% in the past two years alone – OdySea Aquarium remains committed to the survival of the species in partnership with other Association of Zoos and Aquariums' accredited facilities. It is with great pride that we celebrate the arrival of these precious birds and the genetic diversity they bring to the greater population within the zoological community.”

Two of the three chicks are siblings, or clutch-mates—both hatched to parents Mojo (mom) and Lemieux (dad). This penguin “power couple” was selected for pairing as part of the Species Survival Plan (SSP), a sophisticated breeding program established by the Association of Zoos and Aquariums (AZA) over 30 years ago to help build healthy genetic populations within the zoological community for species whose wild counterparts are either threatened or endangered.

OdySea Aquarium’s third penguin chick hatched just 19 days after Mojo and Lemieux’s chicks to first-time parents Bubbles (mom) and Weasley (dad). The arrival of their beautiful chick brought the successful hatchings at Penguin Point at OdySea Aquarium to lucky #13.

Although Mojo, Lemieux, Bubbles, and Weasley, are all doing a great job of raising their chicks on their own, OdySea Aquarium’s Animal Health and Care teams will regularly conduct ‘chick checks’, which are brief exams, to monitor the babies’ growth and development, and ensure they are hitting all necessary milestones.

The gender of the three chicks has not yet been determined, and the baby birds are currently nameless, currently identified by the numbers 42, 43, (Mojo and Lemieux’s chicks) and 44 (offspring of Bubbles and Weasley).  The chicks and their parents will remain quietly behind the scenes for now, but the Aquarium plans to post ‘chick check’ updates on their Facebook and Instagram channels.  




Karin Gallo
Director of Public Relations and Social Media
P 480.291.8218
C 813.966.7550