A fluffy little chick has hatched in SEA LIFE Melbourne Aquarium’s Penguin Playground as part of the 9th successful King penguin breeding season!

The chick hatched in the Aquarium’s icy penguin habitat on 2 February weighing 221 grams. The baby was born to long-time couple Ernie and Hudson, who have been taking excellent care of the newest member of their family.

SEA LIFE Melbourne is celebrating the baby’s arrival with ‘The Little King’ activities from 13 – 31 March to help guests learn all about Sub-Antarctic penguin chicks!

To kick off the festivities, SEA LIFE Melbourne needs help naming the new chick! Entrants can submit their suggestion online and the winner will receive a Family Pass to the Aquarium and two ‘The Little King’ showbags.

As well as seeing the penguin chick with their parents in the Penguin Playground, visitors to the Aquarium will receive a storybook and quiz for kids. There will also be live talks at 11am from Thursdays – Mondays and guests will have the option of purchasing a showbag from the retail store or enjoying a meal deal in the café.

Until 31 March, guests aged 14+ can also take advantage of a 20% discount on the behind-the-scenes Penguin Passport experience! Penguin Passport takes guests inside the Penguin Playground to see the beautiful birds up close and meet their dedicated keepers.

“We are proud to have continued our successful King penguin breeding program in 2021 with the arrival of this gorgeous new chick! We are completely in love with the baby and are excited to watch them grow under the wonderful care of their parents Ernie and Hudson. Here at the Aquarium, we will be celebrating the arrival of the chick until 31 March with ‘The Little King’ activities and we look forward to helping our guests discover more about penguins. Our King penguins are ambassadors for their species, helping us raise awareness about their wild relatives and educating people about how we can all help protect their native habitats,” said Sarina Walsh, Bird Manager at SEA LIFE Melbourne.

The King penguins reside in the Aquarium’s Penguin Playground alongside a colony of Gentoo penguins. The display is kept at an icy temperature of -2° to 0° Celsius all year round to mimic the bird’s chilly homeland of South Georgia Island where they are under threat from overfishing, invasive species and climate change.

In addition to the King and Gentoo penguins, visitors to SEA LIFE Melbourne can see a myriad of sea creatures including sharks, tropical fish, sea turtles and more.

The Aquarium is currently open from Thursday – Monday (closed Tuesdays and Wednesdays) and all tickets must be pre-booked online in advance. SEA LIFE Melbourne will be open seven days a week during the Victorian school holidays.

For further information about ‘The Little King’ campaign and to enter the competition to name the King penguin chick, visit: https://www.visitsealife.com/melbourne/name-a-penguin/