The National Aquarium in Napier has a new addition to its family, with the arrival of Dave, the third penguin chick to hatch at the aquarium.

The chick, who is three months old, is the offspring of two of Penguin Cove's residents, Captain and Flip.

It is still unknown whether Dave is a boy or a girl, with the only way to determine this through DNA testing. The easiest way to do this is by testing a feather after adult plumage comes in.

It was a rocky start to life for the young penguin, and he (or she) was hand raised by aquarium staff from when he was 15 days old, but the fledgling is now healthy and meeting milestones.


Dave's latest achievements were getting used to the water and learning to socialise with other penguins.

The young penguin now spends the day in the enclosure and loves swimming and meeting all the visitors to the National Aquarium.

Having been hand reared, Dave will now stay at the aquarium, along with his parents who are both permanent members of Penguin Cove.

The announcement that Dave had hatched coincides with international Penguin awareness day today.

National Aquarium Director, Adrian Fowler, said the awareness day is important, as it raises awareness for charities such as SANCCOB (The Southern African Foundation for the Conservation of Coastal Birds).

"Our Little Penguins are important ambassadors for their species, highlighting the impact that humans are having on our wild friends.

"They help us to educate people about being more aware of taking care of their environment."

DOC classifies Little Blue penguins as at-risk, with their main threats being dog, predation and road kills.

The aquarium gained international recognition when it started running a naughty and nice penguin of the month. In their penguin of the year competition, over 10,000 people voted from all over the world, including Guatemala, Estonia, Iran, Vietnam, China and Canada.

Timmy, the original "naughty penguin of the month", took out the award after a face-off with other bad boy penguin Mo.

Dave's parents, on the other hand, are regarded as two of the best behaved penguins at the cove.

Eight year old Captain, who is missing an eye, is regarded as being very punctual at mealtimes, and never neglected his incubating duties.

Flip, who is six, is considered to be a good role model, and stands up for Captain if he is being picked on.

Time will tell whether Dave has his parents' disposition, or whether he will roll with the bad boys of Penguin Cove.