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Tennessee Aquarium Announces First Penguin Chick of 2014

There's a fluffy new face in the Tennessee Aquarium's Penguins' Rock exhibit. Aviculturists welcomed the new chick to the colony in June. The proud parents, "Chaos" and "Merlin," stay busy snuggling their baby in the nest and seem to enjoy showing it off to everyone.

"Both parents have very laid back personalities, which is helpful when we need to do weight checks and clean the nest," said senior aviculturist Amy Graves. "They're also a great parental team. Merlin serves as protector and Chaos does a great job feeding."

CLICK HERE for YouTube video

Chaos certainly keeps busy since this tiny bird has a giant appetite. Aquarium guests can have fun eavesdropping on this family. A microphone inside the exhibit picks up the chick's vocalizations whenever it begs to be fed, which seems to be almost constantly lately. The sounds of the colony are audible throughout Penguins' Rock. But, mom responds to the begging and appears to be keeping pace. Her baby consistently weighs in at the high end of the healthy range during veterinary exams. "Baby penguins should experience rapid growth," said Graves. "We track each chick's progress through frequent weigh-ins and compare the results to the ranges we know are considered healthy. Since this penguin is staying pretty pudgy, it's clear that the parents are doing a great job with feeding."

The Aquarium's penguin experts hope this "big mac" sets a good example for the chicks that follow it. Both in demeanor and rapid growth.

Last year aviculturists had their hands full supplementing feedings for a couple of chicks up to five times each day when sluggish weight gains indicated the parents were not delivering enough nutrition on their own.

Aviculturist Loribeth Aldrich says even though the chick is very vocal, it seems to have inherited its parent's demeanor. "He's pretty laid-back and easygoing," said Aldrich. "The chick doesn't mind being handled during exams or being photographed."

This is quite a switch from "Pepper," another Macaroni who was also the Aquarium's very first baby penguin hatchling in 2009. "She was a feisty bird almost from the day she hatched," said Aldrich.

Earlier this year, Pepper and ten other penguins that were reared at the Aquarium were moved to other institutions accredited by the Association of Zoos and Aquariums. They will have the opportunity to have offspring of their own while bolstering the overall genetic diversity of the Macaroni and Gentoo population in human care. This transfer also affords the Aquarium's colony more flipper room during the breeding season.

This new Macaroni penguin is the first for the 2014 season and it's possible that aviculturists will remain very busy this season with additional chicks.

Visitors can see the new chick inside an acrylic "playpen" on the right-hand side of the exhibit. It will remain inside this protective barrier for several more weeks before it will be allowed to roam outside the nest. "Penguins need their waterproof swim feathers before they are ready to go out on their own," said Graves. "Right now, the chick is still dependent on mom and dad, but they seem to like that just fine."

The chick's gender will be determined during a blood test later this year. At that time, a Facebook contest is planned to find the perfect name for him or her.

Guests who may want a "bird's eye" view during nesting season, can choose to add the Ocean Journey Backstage Pass to their regular Aquarium admission. This behind-the-scenes experience allows guests into one of the "Keepers Only" areas to see the nesting penguins, eggs and at least one plump little penguin.
Tennessee Aquarium Announces First Penguin Chick of 2014

Monday, July 14 2014, 12:11 PM EDT

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Last Update on September 23, 2014 07:10 GMT

LEONARDO DICAPRIO-UNITED NATIONS MESSENGER OF PEACE

NEW YORK (AP) -- Leonardo DiCaprio says he hopes to use his position as a United Nations Messenger of Peace to help call attention to the problem of global warming. The Oscar-nominated actor is to address the international body today at the request of U.N. Secretary General Ban Ki-moon. DiCaprio says the effects of global warming are being felt all over the world - and he wants to use his public profile to raise further awareness about the problem

Leonardo DiCaprio says there's no denying the effects of global warming.

<<CUT ..006 (09/23/14)>> 00:15 "this position well"

Leonardo DiCaprio

Leonardo DiCaprio says it's an honor to be named a United Nations Messenger of Peace, focusing on global warming.

RAY RICE-RAVENS OWNER

OWINGS MILLS, Md. (AP) -- The Ray Rice situation continues to raise questions about who knew what about the situation -- and when they did about it. Baltimore Ravens owner Steve Bisciotti is the latest to come under fire. A report on ESPN last week said Bisciotti as well as the team's president and general manager pushed NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell (guh-DEHL') to go easy on the star running back after he knocked his then-finance unconscious in a casino elevator. Rice was originally suspended for two games. But after the video of Rice punching his finance surfaced, he was fired by the team and indefinitely suspended by the NFL. Bisciotti claims the ESPN report quotes people who work for Ray Rice -- and who are building a case for him to be reinstated by the NFL.

Sound: 5:08 aed

NATIVE AMERICANS-REDSKINS

ALEXANDRIA, Va. (AP) -- Another off-the-field controversy in the NFL involves the nickname of the Washington franchise. Five Native Americans have asked a federal judge to dismiss a lawsuit filed by the Redskins over the name. The Native Americans won a trademark dispute earlier this year with the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office. The agency ruled the team should lose trademark protection for the name because it may offend Native Americans. The Indian group says if the team wants to sue, it should sue the patent office -- not the Native Americans who challenged the team name. A hearing on the case is set for next month.

TRACEE ELLIS ROSS-"BLACK-ISH"

BEVERLY HILLS, Calif. (AP) -- Tracee Ellis Ross says while she identifies as a black woman, she finds her role in her new sitcom lets her embrace her biracial identity. Ross co-stars with Anthony Anderson and Laurence Fishburne in "Black-ish." Ross says the show lets audiences a look at an African-American family at a time when racial views about what it means to be black are coming into question. Ross says there are families where children are growing up when the only president they have known is black -- something that previous generations never had to deal with.

Tracee Ellis Ross describes the struggle of the TV family she's part of in "Black-ish."

<<CUT ..003 (09/23/14)>> 00:15 "who they are"

Tracee Ellis Ross

Tracee Ellis Ross says kids today have a different view of racial issues than older generations of blacks do.

SHONDA RHIMES-THURSDAY

BEVERLY HILLS, Calif. (AP) -- Shonda Rimes has a hammerlock on Thursday's ABC schedule. The producer has three shows on the network's schedule, starting this week. First up is "Grey's Anatomy" -- which is in its 11th season. After that, it's "Scandal," which is headed into season four. Adding to the mix now is "How To Get Away With Murder" -- which stars Viola Davis as a criminal lawyer who will do anything to get her clients free, and who as a law professor, is teaching her students to do the same.

"THE VOICE" RETURNS

LOS ANGELES (AP) -- "The Voice" is back, with its two new coaches. And the coaches didn't waste much time getting into it. The first singer, Luke Wade, got all four chairs to turn in just seconds. New coach Gwen Stefani said she was excited about working with a new artist, not like jaded, returning coaches Adam Levine and Blake Shelton. Shelton countered that he has experience winning. But new coach Pharrell Williams was the most convincing, getting Luke to be the first to join Team Pharrell. Each of the four coaches landed two singers apiece. The blind auditions continue tonight.

All four coaches want Luke Wade. COURTESY: NBC ((mandatory on-air credit))

<<CUT ..009 (09/23/14)>> 00:10 "winning The Voice"

Blake Shelton

Blake Shelton tells Luke Wade he's a special performer. COURTESY: NBC ((mandatory on-air credit))

<<CUT ..010 (09/23/14)>> 00:14 "to Luke Wade"

Pharrell Williams

New coach Pharrell Williams convinces Luke Wade to be the first on his team. COURTESY: NBC ((mandatory on-air credit))

"DANCING WITH THE STARS"

LOS ANGELES (AP) -- Racecar driver Michael Waltrip is stuck in the slow lane -- on "Dancing With the Stars." He's the low-scorer on the judges' leaderboard and could find himself kicked to curb tonight. While the judges like his spirit, they feel the former Daytona 500 champ is running out of gas when it comes to technique. Lea Thompson from the "Back to the Future" movies had the best scores of the night with her jive. She was worried about a possible wardrobe malfunction during her routine. Tonight, another star is eliminated.

Lea Thompson says she was worried about a wardrobe malfunction during her high-engery dance. COURTESY: BBC Worldwide Limited and American Broadcasting Companies, Inc. ((mandatory on-air credit))

<<CUT ..013 (09/23/14)>> 00:06 "you rocked it"

Carrie Ann Inaba (ee-NAH'-bah)

Judge Carrie Ann Inaba notes 76-year-old Tommy Chong is the first to dance bare-chested this season. ((note nature)) COURTESY: BBC Worldwide Limited and American Broadcasting Companies, Inc. ((mandatory on-air credit))

<<CUT ..014 (09/23/14)>> 00:33 ""

Excerpt of "Dancing With the Stars" theme

Here's the "Dancing With the Stars" theme. COURTESY: BBC Worldwide Limited and American Broadcasting Companies, Inc. ((mandatory on-air credit))

ERIC LYNCH-"WACK PACK" MEMBER DIES

LOS ANGELES (AP) -- He stood just three feet tall. But Eric "The Actor" Lynch was a big part of Howard Stern's "Wack Pack." Lynch has passed away. He was just 39 -- and had suffered for years from numerous health problems related to his height. Lynch first called the Howard Stern show a dozen years ago, complaining how the shock jock made fun of "American Idol" winner Kelly Clarkson's weight. The two eventually became friends and Lynch became a regular on the show.

JOAN RIVERS-RICK PERRY

AUSTIN, Texas (AP) -- What does Joan Rivers' death have to do with the subject of abortion? A lot -- if you go by what Texas Gov. Rick Perry has to say. The potential Republican presidential candidate mentioned Rivers' death while defending a law that would close most abortion facilities. Rivers was undergoing a routine procedure at an outpatient surgery center when she stopped breathing. Perry suggested if the kind of laws he championed were enacted Rivers would still be alive. Abortion-rights supporters have denounced Perry's comparison. The head of a pro-choice group said there are complications in all areas of medicine. Heather Busby of a Texas branch of NARAL notes someone could die while having their wisdom teeth removed -- and asks if the removal of wisdom teeth should be banned.

STEPHEN KING-JFK NOVEL

LOS ANGELES (AP) -- Another of Stephen King's novels is being made into a video project. Hulu says "11/22/63" will be turned into a small-screen miniseries. The nine-hour series will include King and J.J. Abrams as executive producers. In the 2011 novel, a high school teacher goes back in time to try to stop Kennedy's fatal shooting in Dallas. No word on when the new series will be released.

NCIS-NEW ORLEANS

LOS ANGELES (AP) -- The "Big Easy" is the latest backdrop to the "NCIS" franchise. The CBS show is taped both on location and at a studio in New Orleans. Producer Jeffrey Lieber says taping in New Orleans will give the show a different feel than other shows on the NCIS roster. The series makes its debut tonight.

MIKE TYSON LENDS A HAND

LAS VEGAS (AP) -- You probably wouldn't want to run into Mike Tyson in a dark alley or a boxing ring. But an injured motorcyclist was pleased to see him after he had an accident on a Las Vegas interstate last week. An attorney says his client, Ryan Chesley was on I-15 when a taxi cut his bike off and he went down. Chesley looked up and saw Tyson -- who was yelling at people not to touch the injured motorcyclist. Chesley broke some bones and tore ligaments -- but is now out of the hospital. Chesley says Tyson slipped away "like some kind of superhero" when paramedics arrived -- but not before he was able to snap a photo of the former heavyweight champ.

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  • WTVC :: News - Business News

    Business News

    News about your money and businesses in the NewsChannel 9 area.
  • WTVC :: News - Missing Persons

    Missing Persons

    These people are missing and are being sought by law enforcement officials within the NewsChannel 9 viewing area.
  • WTVC :: News - Town Hall

    Town Hall

    Should VW be unionized? Join the debate by being a part of the our live town hall. Click now for details and to register to be in the audience

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Tonight on WTVC NewsChannel 9

6:00 NewChannel 9 

6:30 ABC World News Tonight

7:00 Wheel of Fortune


7:30 Jeopardy 

8:00 Dancing with the Stars

9:00 Agents of Shield
(season premiere)

10:00 Forever

11:00 NewsChannel 9 

11:35 Jimmy Kimmel Live

Complete Schedule »


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