NIAGARA FALLS, N.Y. (WIVB) — The Aquarium of Niagara announced Friday that two Humboldt penguin chicks have been successfully incubated and hatched — their first successful penguin hatching in two years.

“We are thrilled to celebrate the arrival of these Humboldt penguin chicks,” said Gary Siddall, president and CEO of the Aquarium of Niagara. “This is an exciting time for both our penguin colony and the Aquarium as a whole.”

The chicks are currently known as “Chick A” and “Chick B,” as their sexes have yet to be determined. According to the aquarium, Chick A weighed 83 ounces at the pair’s first weigh-in and Chick B weighed 85 ounces. They are under the care of their parents, Blanca and PJ, Jr., who arrived at the aquarium in 2019 from Seattle, and also raised chicks Smitty and Jules in 2020.

The chicks join the aquarium’s colony of 14 adult penguins, which has a capacity of 25 adults.

Humboldt penguins are classified as vulnerable on the IUCN Red List of Threatened Species. Because of this, Blanca and PJ, Jr. are part of the Association of Zoos and Aquariums’ (AZA) Species Survival Plan for Humboldt penguins. The plan is designed to ensure a thriving and sustainable penguin population under human care, and the Aquarium of Niagara is one of 20 facilities in the U.S. and Canada to house the penguins.

“Our animals drive our mission to inspire guests to make a difference for aquatic life, and penguin chicks are great ambassadors for their species,” Siddall said. “This successful hatching is a true testament to the outstanding level of care provided by our animal care team.” 

Though the chicks will remain in the nest for several weeks and will not be viewable for the time being, the aquarium will provide regular updates on its social media channels. It is expected the chicks will grow rapidly over time.