New graduates of ‘fish school’ celebrate with ‘March of the Penguins’

SAN FRANCISCO — The newest graduates of the San Francisco Zoo’s “Fish School” went on parade to celebrate their accomplishment and greet guests.

>> Read more trending news

A video shared by the zoo shows the five Magellanic penguin chicks making their way out of a carrier and waddling past delighted guests, with some guidance and help from zoo employees.

The walk, known at the zoo as the “March of the Penguins,” is an annual event before the year’s new chicks take their first swim at their new home on Penguin Island, KTVU reported.

Prior to their parade, the penguins had been at “Fish School,” where they are taught to eat whole fish, swim, and socialize with their zookeepers, KRON reported.

Magellanic penguins are named for explorer Ferdinand Magellan, whose crew saw the animals while sailing around the tip of South America in 1519, according to National Geographic. Magellanic penguins live mostly in Argentina, Chile and the Falkland Islands.

There are 17 different species of penguin. Magellanic penguins have a white stripe that goes from their eyes, around their heads and under their chin, according to the San Francisco Zoo.

The newly graduated penguins join a community of 54 resident penguins already living on Penguin Island, KRON reported.

The new penguins have been named Nadiya, Agua, Princess Cecilia, Handy Harry and Agua, KTVU reported. One penguin has not yet been named.

Magellanic penguins are listed as “near threatened,” with approximately 1.3 million pairs of the birds in the wild, according to the San Francisco Zoo.