Penguin chicks enjoy first swim at Shedd Aquarium

Four Magellanic penguin chicks have reached an important milestone at Shedd Aquarium in Chicago: their first swim.

Since hatching in May, the penguins have gone on field trips around the aquarium and reached growth benchmarks like eating full fish, meeting other adult birds, and bonding with their caretakers, Shedd Aquarium said.

The video shows the fuzzy chicks investigating the water before the first one dives in, followed by the others. The aquarium noted that while penguins do not become airborne, they flap their strong wings to “fly” through the water.

The penguins have also visited the Abbott Oceanarium “to experience new spaces, sounds and sensations as they continue to grow,” said Kayley Ciocci of Shedd Aquarium. “These experiences encourage physical exercise and mental stimulation and are part of a welfare plan for the curious hatchlings.”

The next step in the penguins’ growth is finding out the sex of the chicks, after which Shedd Aquarium caretakers will share with the public how their names will be chosen and when they can be visited in their exhibit.

In the meantime, the aquarium offers a 45-minute virtual penguin encounter for guests eager to see the penguins.