SEA LIFE London Aquarium has today announced that its penguin chicks, born earlier this year, are both female and have been named after two of the most incredible women of the past 18 months.
Found at the famous South Bank attraction’s Penguin Point, the two chicks will now be known as Raducanu, after the 18 year old tennis sensation who recently won the US Open, and Gilbert, to honour Professor Dame Sarah Gilbert who co-developed the Oxford AstraZeneca Covid-19 vaccine.
Now four months old, the Aquarists at SEA LIFE London Aqaurium have only recently been able to establish the sex of the chicks following their hatchings in May. The identification process can take up to 10 days to complete and involves a blood sample being taken from each bird which has to be carefully analysed. Then once the chromosomes within the blood have been identified, the sex of a penguin can be established.
On naming the new penguins at SEA LIFE London Aquarium, General Manager Catherine Pritchard said: “Now the sex of the penguin chicks has been established it is a celebratory moment for the Aquarium and we wanted to name our new females after two standout women of the past 18 months.
“Emma Raducanu’s recent win at the US Open Championship was a massive success for British sport and Professor Dame Sarah Gilbert has played a life saving role in the battle against the Covid 19 pandemic and therefore we felt it a fitting tribute to commemorate their successes and mark their moments in time by naming our penguin chicks after them.”
The newest members to SEA LIFE London Aquarium’s colony of Gentoo penguins are the latest chicks to be born at the attraction in recent years. Their successful breeding is due in part to the strong European collaborative conservation programme that the London Aquarium is involved with.
Gentoo penguins are great ambassadors for all wildlife found on the Antarctic Peninsula, a location which is under great threat from climate change, microplastic pollution and the negative effects of human activity.
Gentoo penguins are just one of the fantastic marine creatures that can be seen at SEA LIFE London Aquarium, others include a Dwarf Crocodile, Nurse Sharks and Sea Turtles.
Visitors can catch a glimpse of Raducanu and Gilbert, along with the rest of the colony at the attraction’s Penguin Point inside Polar Adventure.
SEA LIFE London Aquarium, situated on the South Bank, is open seven days a week. For the latest opening times, feeding times, prices and more, see http://www.visitsealife.com/london/