Three super-cute African Penguin chicks had their debut swim at Mystic Aquarium May 25 and guests were thrilled to see them. The babies were born back in February, but this week they were finally big enough to explore their habitat for the very first time.

Lucky Mystic Aquarium guests who happened to be at the Roger Tory Peterson Penguin Pavilion on Wednesday afternoon got to see the not-so-tiny penguins chicks waddle into their new home and splash into the pool for their first swim.

As you can see in the video below, these little guys had the run of the place.

Mystic Aquarium staff actually removed the other adult penguins from the space to let the juveniles explore without interference. The two males (black/red and black/grey) and one female (black/yellow) have been weaned from their mother and developed their waterproof plumage, so they'll now be spending a lot of time in the water and need to be completely comfortable.

Though the debut swim was cute, it'll be a while longer before the chicks are on display full-time. Staff have to give the newest members of this penguin colony time to adjust to life at Mystic Aquarium.

Trainers will be working with the chicks over the next few weeks to acclimate them to the habitat and the other members of the colony. After that additional training, they will be on exhibit full-time.

As assistant supervisor of penguins, Josh Davis said: "These chicks will play an important role in our conservation efforts for African Penguins in South Africa. We can take the knowledge we have learned from caring for this species and transition it over to save the endangered species in the wild."

African Penguins are at the highest risk of extinction among the animals that call the aquarium home and the wild population could vanish within our lifetime.

Luckily, facilities such as Mystic Aquarium are actively working to save the species by being part of the Association of Zoos and Aquariums African Penguin SAFE: Saving Animals from Extinction. These chicks can eventually be matched with other penguins to continue the survival of the species.

African Penguins aren't the only animals that staff at Mystic Aquarium are saving these days. Keep scrolling to see some rescued animals released back to the open waters.

All the Photos from the Grey Seal Release at Blue Shutters Beach in Charlestown

The Mystic Aquarium Rescue Program released a juvenile male grey seal on Tuesday at Blue Shutters Beach in Charlestown, Rhode Island. It was the first public release in two years and the crowd loved watching this seal pup head back home.

Endangered Sea Turtles Released Back into Atlantic Ocean

The Mystic Aquarium Animal Rescue Team saw another set of rehabilitated animals returned to their ocean home recently with the release of five endangered sea turtles down in North Carolina.
One loggerhead sea turtle and four Kemp’s ridley sea turtles were the aquarium's part of a 26-sea-turtle release from four different animal rescues across the Northeast. See these endangered animals as they returned to their ocean home after months of treatment for their cold-stunning damage suffered in Cape Cod Bay.

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