Penguin naming contest at Rosamond Gifford Zoo

penguin naming contestZoo executives at the Rosamond Gifford Zoo in Syracuse are celebrating the hatching of a Humboldt penguin. The female chick who hatched on the 16th of April was introduced to the world by County Executive Joanne M. Mahoney.

The zoo has a good track record in breeding penguins with this little one being the 39th born at the zoo. She will one day join the 33 penguins currently on exhibit at the zoo but first she needs a name.

The public can get involved in naming the chick by participating in an online naming contest.

Parents Phil and Carmen are quite proud of their little 83 gram baby. They will care for her until July when she is weaned. By summer she will be meeting guests at the Penguin Coast exhibit.

Mahoney announced that ‘It is wonderful to be able to introduce this beautiful new addition to the zoo’s flourishing penguin program.’ The program really is flourishing having welcomed 38 baby penguins since 2006.

Already this year 2 penguins have been born at the zoo. They are two males who have been named Ernesto and Desi.

Rosamond Gifford Zoo play an important role in the breeding program that’s looking to conserve these penguins. Ted Fox the Zoo director explained their role, ‘Penguins from our colony will travel to other zoos and aquariums to ensure efforts to continue populating the species.’

These penguins are endangered as only 12,000 to 30,000 humboldt penguins remain in South America their native range. They are named for the cold water current at the edge of South America known as the Humboldt Current.

Due to their South American heritage zoo officials are encouraging names of Spanish decent as part of the penguin naming contest.

To be part of the penguin naming contest submissions must be received by June the 7th. During the 11th and 15th of June people will be able to vote at the zoo’s website on the 5 best names as determined by keepers. You’ll be able to discover the name on the zoo’s website and social media on June 17, we’ll also post it on the animal facts facebook page.

If you win you get a penguin Adopt an Animal package so go to to vote.


By Cale Russell is a testament to Cale’s commitment to the education of people around the world on the topic of animals and conservation, through the sharing of topical and newsworthy information.

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