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'A Gem of a Chick:' Penguin Named at Maryland Zoo

Posted By : The Animal Facts Editorial Team

Date: February 10, 2021 5:59 pm

maryland zoo penguin named

Ruby the African penguin chick at the Maryland Zoo in Baltimore

Photo Credit: The Maryland Zoo

The Maryland Zoo have announced the winning name from the competition which they ran to name their latest African penguin chick. The chick was named after a rare and precious gem to recognize the rarity of the African penguin.

Four names were selected by keepers, Emerald, Sapphire, Garnet or Ruby. With almost 37% of the votes, Ruby was the clear winner. Over 4,400 votes were received as part of the competition.

maryland zoo penguin named

Ruby the African penguin chick at the Maryland Zoo in Baltimore

Photo Credit: The Maryland Zoo

Ruby was the first chick hatched at the Maryland Zoo in 2021 emerging from her egg on January 8th.

Maryland Zoo have been running their penguin breeding program for 50 years. In 2018 they celebrated the hatching of their 1000th chick. Each year the chicks are named with a new theme.

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This year the zoo has partnered with Smyth Jewelers to name the chicks after rare gemstones.

“We are feeling the love! It has been great fun partnering with the Zoo to help them name this year’s rare penguin chicks after equally precious gemstones,” said Ruthann Carroll, director of advertising at Smyth Jewelers. “African penguins are endangered in their native range, and we are happy to help bring more attention to the great work the Zoo does on behalf of the penguins in their care as well as in the wild.”    

maryland zoo penguin named

Ruby the African penguin chick at the Maryland Zoo in Baltimore

Photo Credit: The Maryland Zoo

Nine chicks have hatched at the zoo this breeding season. Five of them have been named so far and are known as Diamond, Pearl, Topaz and Onyx along with the now named Ruby.

The penguin chicks are currently being cared for in an off-display area and cannot be seen by the public. Guests can view adult penguins in the Penguin coast habitat.

maryland zoo penguin named

Ruby the African penguin chick at the Maryland Zoo in Baltimore

Photo Credit: The Maryland Zoo

Learn more about African penguins here – African Penguin Fact File | The Animal Facts

Learn more about The Maryland Zoo on their website – The Maryland Zoo

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