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A male African penguin chick has joined the colony at the Cal Academy of Sciences in San Francisco. The chick is the first to hatch at the new Academy building, which opened in 2008. Photo credit: California Academy of Sciences

A baby penguin has joined an endangered colony of birds at the African penguin exhibit at the California Academy of Sciences in San Francisco's Golden Gate Park, science museum officials said this week.

The male chick is the first to hatch since the Academy reopened in 2008. He was born on Jan. 28 to father Robben and mother Ty.

The two penguins were bred to maintain the species, which is facing extinction in the wild.

The African penguin exhibit now boasts a colony of 16 birds.

The baby penguin was living with his parents in a private nest out of public view until Wednesday when he joined the other birds.

The small penguin, who will lose his youthful plumage and develop his sleeker tuxedo-like appearance after he turns 1, has yet to be named.

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The museum is holding an online naming contest through April 30.

The top three names chosen by Academy staff for their originality and reflection of the museum's mission to sustain wildlife will be put to a public vote.

The winning name will be announced during a naming ceremony on May 16 at the museum.

The contestant who submits the chosen name will be part of the ceremony and also earn a behind-the-scenes tour of the penguin colony, tickets to a museum sleepover event, plus a plush penguin toy.

The new chick can be viewed at the exhibit through the online Penguin Cam at http://www.calacademy.org/webcams/penguins/.

To participate in the naming contest visit http://promoshq.wildfireapp.com/website/6/contests/320227 or the Academy of Sciences' Facebook page at https://www.facebook.com/calacademy/app--95936962634.



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