"Best of all, this baby is ridiculously cute” -- Historical birth at Ripley's

GATLINBURG, Tenn. (WVLT) -- Penguin-lovers are celebrating a very special birth at Ripley's Aquarium of the Smokies this week. Proud caregivers are showing off their brand-new African Black Footed Baby Penguin.

We are excited about this birth. We have been waiting years for this moment," said Ryan DeSear, general manger of Ripley’s Aquarium of the Smokies. "Any birth is a beautiful thing here at the aquarium, but the birth of an endangered animal is truly spectacular."

"Best of all, this baby is ridiculously cute.”

That it is! The penguin, which was born on May 4, 2013, now weighs 4 pounds. Its caretakers say the bird is doing well and is being monitored around the clock by the facility's experienced Husbandry Team.

In honor of their new arrival, the aquarium is holding a baby shower through the end of the month. Special events are scheduled throughout the week, including special giveaways and opportunities to help the South African Foundation for the Conservation of Coastal Birds. (SANCCOB).

SANCCOB is a non-profit seabird rehabilitation center, designed to holp rebuild habitats in South Africa., Ripley's explained.

Afrtican Black Footed Penguins forst came to to the Gatlinburg aquarium in 2010 as part of its $5 million Penguin Playouse. The exhibit was recently named one of the 10 best places to see penguins by 10Best.com.

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