The fourth Humboldt chick hatched at the Rosamond Gifford Zoo (photo by Maria Simmons)
The fourth Humboldt chick hatched at the Rosamond Gifford Zoo (photo by Maria Simmons)

County Executive Joanie Mahoney joined staff at the Rosamond Gifford Zoo today to announce that six Humboldt penguin chicks have hatched at the zoo this season. Mahoney introduced one of the chicks at today’s press conference.

“It is always wonderful to welcome new babies at our zoo. We look forward to the arrival of penguin chicks each year. Congratulations to the staff on their continued success,” said Mahoney.

Humboldt penguins are named after the Humboldt Current, a nutrient-rich ocean current in South America that flows along the coast of Peru and Chile. Only 10,000-12,000 Humboldt penguins remain in the wild.

There are currently 37 penguins in the Rosamond Gifford Zoo’s colony. The zoo has hatched 48 chicks since 2006. The newest chicks will remain under the care of their parents until they are weaned. They will join the rest of the colony on exhibit at Penguin Coast later this spring and summer.

“The Rosamond Gifford Zoo plays an important role in conserving Humboldt penguins. Our penguins are part of a North American population that is genetically and demographically managed by the Species Survival Plan. Penguins from our colony travel to other AZA-accredited zoos and aquariums to ensure efforts to continue populating the species,” says Zoo Director Ted Fox.

have named the first three chicks. The first, a female, is Estrella which means “star” in Spanish. The second, a male, is Luis which means “famous warrior” in Spanish. The third, a male, is Elmer. Elmer’s egg, which suffered a crack early on, was successfully hatched after Zoo Director Ted Fox applied Elmer’s Glue to repair the fissure. The community will be invited to help vote on a name for one of the three other chicks. A contest will be announced at a later date, once zoo staff determines the chicks’ genders. Contest details will be shared via a media alert and on the zoo’s website and social media platforms.

New Humboldt Penguin Chicks at the Rosamond Gifford Zoo

Birth Date Gender Name Birth Weight Father/Mother
Dec. 5, 2015 Female Estrella 77 grams Cuzco/Pilar
Feb. 20, 2016 Male Luis 80 grams Mario/Montaña
Feb. 21, 2016 Male Elmer 66 grams Frederico/Poquita
Mar. 3, 2016 Undetermined TBD 80 grams Veinte/Isa
Mar. 3, 2016 Undetermined TBD 78 grams Santiago/Nero
Mar. 7, 2016 Undetermined TBD 78 grams Veinte/Isa

Rosamond Gifford Zoo is open daily from 10:00 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. Admission is $8 for adults (19-61), $4 for youth (3-18) and $5 for seniors (62+). Children two and under are free. For more information, call the zoo at (315) 435-8511 or visit

By martha

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