Baby Penguin Takes First Swim at the Shedd Aquarium. You Need to See the Video

Shedd Aquarium’s newest rockhopper penguin, hatched in June, took its first swim with the entire colony. Shedd Aquarium’s newest rockhopper penguin, hatched in June, took its first swim with the entire colony.

Shedd Aquarium’s newest rockhopper penguin, hatched in June, just took its first swim with the entire colony and the results were mixed. 

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Though the chick has been practicing its technique and testing its new waterproof feathers behind the scenes, it seemed to have developed a case of stage fright when it came to making a splash in the Polar Play Zone exhibit. 

(Sam Cejtin / Shedd Aquarium) 


But by the second attempt, the chick got the hang of things.

(Sam Cejtin / Shedd Aquarium) 


Eventually, the entire rockhopper colony joined in the fun, giving the newbie what looked like the penguin equivalent of a standing ovation. (To spot the chick in the crowd, it hasn’t yet grown the rockhopper’s distinctive yellow crested feathers.)

(Sam Cejtin / Shedd Aquarium) 


There are two species of penguins at the Shedd: Rockhopper penguins (Eudyptes chrysocome) and Magellanic penguins (Spheniscus magellanicus).

Because rockhoppers are underrepresented at zoos and aquariums, Shedd opted to focus on breeding rockhoppers this year. The result was the first rockhopper hatched at the aquarium in eight years.

The next milestone for the chick will be determining its sex.


Contact Patty Wetli: @pattywetli | (773) 509-5623 |  [email protected]

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