This week, Miss Custard had her first swim in the Ocean Basket Kelp Forest Exhibit:
So big was the occasion, that it even made the news!
Northern rockhopper penguins (Eudyptes moseleyi) are found in the South Atlantic and Indian Oceans. Their breeding range is restricted to only seven islands within this area. The majority of northern rockhopper penguins can be found on Gough Island and the Tristan da Cunha group of islands.
The rockhopper penguins at the Aquarium were found stranded on southern Cape beaches and were rehabilitated by the Southern African Foundation for the Conservation of Coastal Birds (SANCCOB) before being donated to the Aquarium. They cannot be released because of the risk of introducing foreign pathogens into wild populations.
SANCCOB also helped us raise Miss Custard from egg to chick.
The egg was laid by Roxy and Grommet (the second for the pair) at the Aquarium, but taken to SANCCOB to be raised given the fact that they are still inexperienced penguin parents.
What's with the name?
Romy Klusener, SANCCOB’s Chick Rearing Unit Supervisor, told Africa Geographic: “We initially thought it was a male and due to her discerning character, the name Harold seemed appropriate. As a chick, the tip of her beak was a custard-yellow which gave the impression that she dipped her beak in custard. As such, the word ‘Custard’ was added to her name. After doing the blood tests to determine her sex, it was confirmed that she was, in fact, a female rockhopper.”