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The California Academy of Sciences in San Francisco’s Golden Gate Park recently welcomed two new African penguin chicks, the first new chicks to hatch there since 2018.

The two chicks emerged from their shells on Nov. 1 and Nov. 3 and their names will be determined by a naming contest in January.

A biologist uses a light to check the inside of a developing penguin egg at the California Academy of Sciences in San Francisco. (Photo courtesy of California Academy of Sciences)

A 7-year-old male penguin named Bernie and a 4-year-old female penguin named Stanlee — the most recent penguin to hatch at the Academy — are the biological parents of the two chicks, though one will be fostered by other penguins there.

Scientists at the Academy estimate that the chicks will be able to join the other 13 African penguins in the colony there by late January.

African penguins have been an endangered species since 2010, with only an estimated 10,000 breeding pairs left in the wild, according to the Academy of Sciences.

Brenda Melton, director of animal care and welfare at the Academy’s Steinhart Aquarium, said in a statement that the African penguins “face a very real risk of extinction in their natural environment” and that the Academy is helping in critical conservation work for the species.

While the new chicks won’t be seen by the public at the Academy until next year, a live feed of the rest of the African penguin colony can be viewed online.