The penguin chicks are named after precious gems by their adoring public.

Some cute news to start your weekend: remember the penguin chicks that were born at the Maryland Zoo last year? You might recall the adorable voting campaign to choose names inspired by precious gemstones: Ruby, Garnet, Obsidian, Jasper, Emerald, and Malachite! Well, those hatchlings have finally grown up and joined their friends at the Penguin Coast! 

In a public unveiling Thursday morning, The Maryland Zoo welcomed six new chicks into the African Penguin Colony. The crew, which is comprised of Ruby, Garnet, Obsidian, Jasper, Emerald, and Malachite, were born last September during the 2020-21 breeding season. A total of 10 chicks were born, with the newest additions being the youngest of the group. The care team reportedly waited for them to reach maturity before introducing them into the outdoor exhibit, and judging by the beautiful weather, it was worth the wait!

“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,” Zoo president and CEO Kirby Fowler told CBS Baltimore at the unveiling.

The Maryland Zoo's role in African Penguin conservation cannot be understated. Across their decades' long history breeding penguins, they've hatched over 1,000 chicks and maintain over 100 birds in their colony, making it the largest group of African Penguins in the United States. They also have ties to renowned conservation groups including the non-profit, The Southern African Foundation for the Conservation of Coastal Birds, or SANCCOB.

If you want to see these little guys in person, you can reserve your tickets here.

Are you excited to see the baby chicks in person? Let us know in the comments if you voted on their names.