Penguin chicks add to Georgia Aquarium

African penguin chicks may be the most huggable bird in creation.

Their portly profiles and soft juvenile feathers give them the look of oversized Beanie Babies. And it is Jennifer Odell’s job to cuddle them, to get them accustomed to contact.

Odell, associate curator of mammals and birds at the Georgia Aquarium, and her team have been tending to the new chicks. Hatched in January, these penguin youngsters are the second crop of chicks born at the aquarium and are the result of a concerted effort to expand the aquarium’s brood of 45 African penguins.

That work began in 2010, with the redesign of the penguin exhibit to closely mimic the birds’ natural habitat.

African penguins come from the southwestern coast of the continent, from Namibia to South Africa, and from that area’s coastal islands.

The species numbered 3 million in the early 1900s, but has dwindled to about 80,000, mostly from loss of habitat and food sources, and is listed as endangered.

Legoland Florida plans expansion, water ride

The world’s largest Legoland theme park will expand this summer to include a new ride and interactive play area based on the company’s popular Legends of Chima line.

Legoland Florida officials said the new section will include an interactive water ride called The Quest for Chi, a Lego-building challenge, 4-D movie and a meet-and-greet with costumed characters.

Aland Islands brewery brews ‘shipwreck beer’

uthorities on the Aland Islands in the Baltic Sea say a local brewer will begin producing a beer inspired by bottles found in a 19th-century shipwreck three years ago. Five bottles of beer and 168 bottles of champagne were pulled from a submerged schooner that experts believe sank in the 1840s. Aland authorities say Finnish scientists studied the beer and devised a formula for a re-creation that the Stallhagen brewery will produce.

Production of the “shipwreck beer” is expected to start in mid-2014.

Officials at Yellowstone warn of active grizzlies

Officials at Yellowstone National Park say grizzly bears are emerging from hibernation, so hikers, skiers and people on snowshoes should stay in groups of three of more, make noise on the trail and carry bear spray.

Bears look for food as soon as they emerge from dens. Officials say bears are attracted to elk and bison that have died during the winter. The bears can be aggressive if they’re surprised while feeding.

NYC’s Met museum to open 7 days a week

New York’s Metropolitan Museum of Art will be open to the public seven days a week starting July 1.

Also on July 1, the museum’s opening time will be changed to 10 a.m., from 9:30 a.m.

The changes also apply to The Cloisters, the Met’s museum of medieval art and architecture in Fort Tryon Park, in northern Manhattan.

The Met had a record 6.28 million visitors last year.

Wire reports