Syracuse, N.Y. (June 17, 2014) - Onondaga County Executive Joanie Mahoney today announced the winning entry for the Rosamond Gifford Zoo's penguin chick naming contest.
"We are pleased to announce that the zoo's newest female penguin chick has been named Filomena," said County Executive Joanie Mahoney. "After five days of voting, Filomena rose to the top with 27 percent of the 1,107 total votes cast online. We thank the community for their support and participation."
Sue Engel of Dryden submitted the winning name, which is pronounced "fil-o-MEN-ah" and means "greatly loved" in Spanish. Engel will receive a Humboldt penguin Adopt an Animal package courtesy of Friends of the Zoo.
The zoo received 963 name suggestions from across the United States, Canada and the Philippines. In an effort to provide a name for the chick which reflects her heritage, a committee comprised of zoo staff selected five finalists. Names were judged for creativity and overall appeal. Because Humboldt penguins are named after the Humboldt Current, a cold nutrient-rich ocean current that flows along the west coast of South America, names with a Latin American influence were given preference.
The finalists were: Dahlia, Filomena, Francesca, Graciela and Solana.
Filomena hatched at the Rosamond Gifford Zoo on April 16 to parents Phil and Carmen. She will remain under the care of her parents until July before she is weaned. She will join the rest of the colony later this summer at the zoo's exhibit, Penguin Coast.