BALTIMORE, Md. (WJZ) — The Maryland Zoo unveiled six new African penguin chicks on Thursday morning at its Penguin Coast exhibit.

“We just released our last, the youngest of our six chicks,” said Jess Phillips, the Penguin Coast Area Manager. “We had ten chicks hatch here at the Maryland Zoo this year.”

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Ruby, Jasper, Garnet, Emerald, Malachite and Obsidian joined the rest of the penguins in the exhibit after being hatched back in September. Zoo officials say they needed a little time to grow before they could go outside.

“It’s wonderful to see these little chicks who have been inside for months finally be exposed to, first of all, a gorgeous day but then this beautiful pool,” said Kirby Fowler, the zoo’s president and CEO.

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Each new chick is named after a gemstone, just like the hatchlings that debuted earlier in the year. They are part of a very long line of African Penguins born at the zoo.

“We started with these guys in 1968. We have hatched well over a thousand birds now,” said Phillips.

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The zoo has the largest colony of African Penguins in North America.

Stetson Miller