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Woodland Park Zoo - Press Release


June 12, 2012


Rescued penguin chick to be named in honor of little hero

Gigi Allianic, Rebecca Whitham
206.548.2550 |

Woodland Park Zoo will name a 2-month-old Humboldt penguin in honor of a little boy who helped rescue the abandoned egg prior to hatching. The little hero has not been found. Shown in photo is the rescued penguin chick with zookeeper Celine Pardo 

Photo Credit: Dennis Dow/Woodland Park Zoo


A couple of months ago, Woodland Park Zoo announced a communitywide search for a little boy whose sharp observation helped save an abandoned Humboldt penguin egg. Despite the all-points bulletin, the hero remains a mystery, so the zoo will name the penguin chick in honor of this helpful child.

The press is invited behind the scenes to see how the 2-month-old chick is thriving and to meet the zookeeper involved in the rescue operation. The keeper will announce the chick’s name and give a firsthand account of the little hero’s help in saving an endangered animal.

In April, the young boy alerted the keeper that an egg was present outside of a nest and on a ledge in the penguin exhibit. Before a crow or gull could snatch the egg, the keeper immediately placed the egg under a pair of foster parents, where it hatched two days later. The little boy, however, disappeared when the keeper returned to thank him.

The biological parents of the rescued chick are 4-year-old mother Sardinia and 9-year-old father Groucho. The foster chick was moved from the nest a few weeks ago to a behind-the-scenes room where it is being conditioned to approach keepers for feeding and swimming in a small pool where it is more controlled and less crowded. The nearly full grown chick will join the colony of penguins in the outdoor exhibit in mid-summer.


Wednesday, June 13, 9:30-10:00 a.m.


Behind the scenes at penguin exhibit. Park in the inner lot at the NORTH end where the admin. offices are located off N. 59th St. & Phinney Ave. N. Meet at the West Entrance for staff escort


Humboldt penguins are an endangered species, with only an estimated 12,000 surviving in the wild. Unlike their ice and snow-dwelling Antarctic cousins, this particular species inhabits hot, dry coastlines in Peru and Chile, living on rocky mainland shores, especially near cliffs, or on coastal islands.

Woodland Park Zoo participates in the Species Survival Plan (SSP) for Humboldt penguins. An endangered species, these birds are important conservation ambassadors to teach visitors about the impacts humans have on penguins in their range countries. SSPs are sponsored by the Association of Zoos & Aquariums (AZA) and led by experts in husbandry, nutrition, veterinary care, behavior, conservation and genetics. AZA-accredited institutions manage each species as one population in North America to maximize genetic diversity, with the goal of ensuring the long-term survival of the population and the health of individual animals.

Zoo summer hours: 9:30 a.m.-6:00 p.m. daily. Admission through September 30: Adult (13-64) id="mce_marker"7.75; Child (3-12) id="mce_marker"1.50; Toddler (0-2) Free. Active and retired U.S. military and their families, seniors and people with disabilities receive a discount and zoo members receive free zoo admission year round. Parking: $5.25. For more information or to become a zoo member, visit or call 206.548.2500 or 548.2599 (TTY). 


Accredited by the Association of Zoos & Aquariums, award-winning Woodland Park Zoo is famed for pioneering naturalistic exhibits and setting international standards for zoos in animal care, conservation and education programs. Woodland Park Zoo is helping to save animals and their habitats in the Pacific Northwest and around the world. By inspiring people to care and act, Woodland Park Zoo is making a difference in our planet’s future. For more information, visit


Woodland Park Zoo saves animals and their habitats through conservation leadership and engaging experiences, inspiring people to learn, care and act.