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Penguin chicks now on public view, one needs name

Five Humboldt penguin chicks are now on view with the adult colony at Woodland Park Zoo. The chicks hatched between April 1 and April 25.

Photo by Ryan Hawk, Woodland Park Zoo.

The chicks are the result of the first breeding and nesting season for the colony of 18 Humboldt penguins since the exhibit opened a year ago. The new families are first-time parents PJ and Dora with two chicks; Quanto and Gonzo with a pair; and Diego and Radar, the parents of a single chick.

Since their hatching, the chicks had been under the care of their parents in specially constructed nesting burrows in the new penguin exhibit. The chicks were pulled a few weeks ago from the nests to allow keeper staff to condition the birds to hand feed and train for other activities, such as approaching staff and entering and exiting the exhibit on cue. To get them used to being in the water, the chicks had round-the-clock access to a shallow pool behind the scenes at the exhibit where they could practice floating and swimming in a more controlled and less crowded environment.

Now the zoo is looking for names for one of the chicks, a male born to Diego and Radar on April 25. You can submit name suggestions to the wall of the zoo’s Facebook page starting today, through noon Thursday. Spanish-language names are encouraged, to honor the penguin’s Chilean and Peruvian native range. Penguin keepers will select their three favorite names from those submissions, and then fans will vote on Friday on the zoo’s Facebook page for their top pick.

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