The Shedd Aquarium in Chicago highlighted the latest milestone their four new Magellanic penguin chicks surpassed in an adorable video
Advertisement

Penguin chicks at the Shedd Aquarium have reached a new milestone: their first swim!

On Thursday, the Chicago facility announced that their four new Magellanic penguin chicks enjoyed "their first introduction to water" and "first swim" — one of the last steps the baby birds need to master before joining the aquarium's full penguin colony in the Polar Play Zone.

Shedd documented the penguins' first dives and captured adorable footage of the quartet splashing in the water together. After transitioning from their fluffy feathers to juvenile waterproof feathers, the penguins could safely leave the nest and start swimming lessons.

Other milestones the chicks have surpassed together include learning to eat fish, perfecting their social skills, and exploring new spaces. These previous accomplishments also helped prepare the baby penguins for life in the aquarium's public penguin exhibit.

Even after the chicks join the facility's penguin colony, the aquarium's animal care team will continue to conduct regular check-ups on the baby birds to ensure they meet growth rates as expected. 

Penguin Chicks Take Their First Dive at Chicago's Shedd Aquarium
Credit: Shedd Aquarium

The Shedd Aquarium will test biological samples from the chicks' eggshells to determine the sex of each penguin. Once determined, the facility will name the chicks and announce when they will officially introduce the new additions.

Never miss a story — sign up for PEOPLE's free daily newsletter to stay up-to-date on the best of what PEOPLE has to offer, from juicy celebrity news to compelling human interest stories.

The four chicks hatched this spring following their parents' annual breeding season. The chicks — hatched April 29, May 5, May 12, and May 29 — were welcomed as part of the Shedd Aquarium's conservation efforts.

Penguin Chicks Take Their First Dive at Chicago's Shedd Aquarium
Credit: Shedd Aquarium

Last year, Magellanic penguins were listed as "least concern," according to the International Union for Conservation of Nature's Red List of Threatened Species. However, the IUCN notes that their population is "decreasing."

As fans of the Chicago aquarium await the chicks' public debut at Shedd, they can view the rest of the penguin colony in person or virtually.