Monterey aquarium needs a name for its new penguin chick
Welcome to the world, Beck! Or is it Bixby or Cypress or Watson?
The newest member of the Monterey Bay Aquarium’s penguin colony was born July 7, and her human caretakers want your help deciding on her name.
The littlest resident of the renowned California aquarium is currently on display with her parents until she becomes more mobile, and then will be out of public view for a few months.
The not-yet-named penguin is the 12th chick to hatch at the aquarium, spokesman Emerson Brown told CNN Travel.
Four remain part of the aquarium’s penguin colony: Rey, who hatched in June 2014; Amigo, who hatched in August 2016; and Monty and Poppy, who both hatched in January 2018, says Brown.
Two other birds, Pebble and Tola — both males — joined the colony at Dallas World Aquarium, and a female, Maq, is at the National Aviary in Pittsburgh.
What will her name be?
The four options evoke the history and natural beauty of the Monterey Peninsula.
“Beck” is for the late John Steinbeck, author of “Cannery Row,” which is also the name of the street where the aquarium is located.
“Bixby” is for the stunning Bixby Bridge in nearby Big Sur.
“Cypress” is for the Monterey cypress, a tree which is native to the Monterey area.
“Watson” is for Watsonville, a nearby community that grows produce sold nationwide.
Part of a species survival plan
While wild African penguins live in cold currents along the coast of South Africa, about 17 live at the aquarium. They are part of a Species Survival Plan for threatened African penguins, a program run by the Association of Zoos and Aquariums, which oversees the genetics of over 800 African penguins living in 50 zoos and aquariums.