Zoo Invites Community to Vote on Penguin Chick Names

Tuesday, April 7, 2015

The Rosamond Gifford Zoo’s newest Humboldt penguin chicks, both female, hatched in January. “Chick A” hatched on January 9 to Mario and Montaña. “Chick B” hatched on January 21 to Frederico and Poquita

Last week, the public was invited to submit name suggestions for the chicks. The zoo received 961 responses from across the United States and also a few from the United Kingdom.

Humboldt penguins are named after the Humboldt Current, a cold nutrient-rich ocean current that flows along the west coast of South America. In an effort to provide names for the chicks which reflect their heritage, a committee comprised of zoo staff carefully and thoughtfully selected a list of five choices from all entries received.

Names were judged for creativity as well as overall appeal. Names with a Latin American influence were given preference.

The finalists are:

Alejandra (“ah-le-HAHN-drah”)

Submitted by: Lindsay Brown, 26, of Evans Mills, N.Y.

Reason: “The name means ‘protector of humanity.’”

Calypso (“kuh-LIP-soh”)
Submitted by: Elizabeth Young, 58, of Phoenix, N.Y.

Reason: “The name of Jacques Cousteau’s vessel for research.”

Frida (“Free-da”)
Submitted by: Amanda Bush, 11, of Camillus, N.Y.

Reason: “I love art and animals and famous artist Frida Kahlo did, too! She drew many portraits of beautiful animals.”

Malia (“mAA-lee-aa”)
Submitted by: Mrs. Cleveland’s First Grade Class, Webster Elementary School, Syracuse City School District

Reason: “Chick A has two parents with names that start with the letter m, so we wanted to find a name that also started with m. We searched for Spanish baby names and had a tournament-style voting system.”

Muchacha (“moo-chah-chah”)
Submitted by: Jo Ann Barry, 60, of North Syracuse, N.Y.

Reason: “The name means ‘girl’ in Spanish.”

Online voting is now available via the contest page: rosamondgiffordzoo.org/naming-contest.

Votes will be taken from April 6-10; all votes must be received by 4 p.m. on April 10. The two names that receive the highest number of votes will be the names by which the penguin chicks will be known.

The winning names will be announced via a media alert and on the zoo’s website and social media platforms on April 14. The winners will each receive a Humboldt penguin Adopt an Animal package courtesy of Friends of the Zoo.

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