The votes are in, and Rosamond Gifford Zoo’s new penguin chick’s name is …

Friday, March 30, 2018


The Rosamond Gifford Zoo held an online naming vote this week for the new Humboldt penguin chick that hatched there on February 25. The winning name, Félix, meaning “Lucky,” received 264, or 34 percent of the 769 votes cast.

Rafael, “healing angel," came in second with 176 votes. Inigo, “Fiery,” and Oscar, “friend of deer,” were nearly tied for third place with 143 and 146 votes respectively, and Garcìa, a common Spanish surname, received 40 votes.

The nominated names were chosen by the zoo’s penguin care staff in keeping with the origins of Humboldt penguins, which are native to the Humboldt Current along the coast of Peru and Chile.

The new chick is the 55th Humboldt penguin to hatch at the zoo since it began participating in the Association of Zoos & Aquariums’ Species Survival Plan (SSP) for Humboldt penguins in 2006. Félix’s parents are Frederico and Poquita, who have had 12 other chicks hatch at the zoo. The zoo has sent Humboldt penguins raised here to several other AZA-accredited zoos to maintain the species through the SSP.

Félix is growing fast. He weighed 69 grams on hatching, and as of today he is nearly 2,000 grams, or 4.4 pounds. He will remain in the nursery for a couple more months before joining the rest of the colony in the zoo’s Penguin Coast habitat this summer.

Humboldt penguin populations have been declining in the wild due to human encroachment on their breeding sites. The Rosamond Gifford Zoo currently has a colony of 35 Humboldt penguins, including last year’s chick, Emilio, whose name also was selected in a naming vote.

The zoo will be celebrating World Penguin Day on Wednesday, April 25, with a Penguin Keeper Chat at 3 p.m.

Click here for more information about the Rosamond Gifford Zoo.

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