Second Zoo Penguin Chick’s Winning Name is “Inti”
SYRACUSE, NY, April 19, 2021 - The winning name of the Rosamond Gifford Zoo’s second Humboldt penguin chick of 2021 is Inti!
The male chick hatched March 19 as the newest member of the zoo’s 27-bird colony of Humboldt penguins, which are native to the Humboldt current along the Pacific Coast of Chile and Peru.
The zoo’s first penguin chick to hatch this year, on February 4, also sparked a naming vote. The female chick’s winning name was Opal.
The zoo’s penguin care team submitted five contenders for the second chick’s name which reflect the South American heritage of Humboldt penguins: Apichu (“sweet potato”), Inti (Inca sun god/sunshine), Eneldo (“dill”), Pimiento, (“pepper”) and Pepito (“pumpkinseed”).
A total of 4,122 votes were cast over four days and Inti won by a landslide, capturing over 50 percent of the vote, or 2,081 votes. Pimiento and Pepito each garnered 14 percent, trailed by Apichu (12 percent) and Eneldo (8 percent).
Inti and Opal are among more than 50 chicks to hatch at the zoo since it established its colony of Humboldt penguins in 2006. The zoo has sent many birds to other accredited zoos and aquariums in the Association of Zoos & Aquariums (AZA) as part of the Species Survival Plan for this species, whose wild population is listed as vulnerable in their native habitat.
Inti will be cared for by his parents, Viente and Poquita, for another three to four weeks until he is ready to be hand-fed by zookeepers, who keep close track of each bird’s food intake and nutrition.
Both chicks will join the adult birds on exhibit once they are weaned, have all their waterproof feathers and get some indoor swimming practice in preparation for the 50,000-gallon outdoor pool at Penguin Coast.