Cast Your Vote and Help Name a Penguin Chick at the Zoo

Thursday, April 7, 2016

Six endangered Humboldt penguin chicks have hatched at the Rosamond Gifford Zoo this season. Now that its gender has been determined, the zoo would like the public to vote on a name for the fourth chick, a male. The chick hatched on March 3 to parents Veinte and Isa and weighed 80 grams. It was introduced by County Executive Joanie Mahoney at a March 23 press conference.

Humboldt penguins are named after the Humboldt Current, a nutrient-rich ocean current in South America that flows along the coast of Peru and Chile. Penguin keepers at the zoo have selected names that reflect this cultural heritage, in addition to one with local sports appeal and pride. The zoo is asking for the public to cast their votes. The five name choices are:

Emilio - Meaning: Friendly

Hector - Meaning: Tenacious

Lorenzo - Meaning: Crowned with a laurel

Salvador - Meaning: Savior

Otto - Meaning: Wealth, fortune; in celebration of Syracuse University Orange men’s and women’s basketball and their historic 2016 NCAA Tournament run

Online voting is now available via the contest page:

Votes will be taken for five days, April 7-11; all votes must be received by 4 p.m. on April 11. The name that receives the highest number of votes will be the name by which the penguin chick will be known. The winner will be announced via a media alert and on the zoo’s website and social media platforms on April 12.

 Only 10,000-12,000 Humboldt penguins remain in the wild. The Rosamond Gifford Zoo plays an important role in conserving Humboldt penguins as part of the Species Survival Plan. Penguins from the zoo’s colony travel to other AZA-accredited zoos and aquariums to ensure efforts to continue populating the species.

 Animal staff has named the four other chicks. The gender of the sixth could not be determined at this time; the chick will be named by staff at a later date (see chart below). There are currently 37 penguins in the zoo’s colony; 48 chicks have hatched at the zoo since 2006. The newest chicks will remain under the care of their parents until they are weaned. They will join the rest of the colony on exhibit at Penguin Coast later this spring and summer.

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