New Humboldt Penguin Chick Hatches at Rosamond Gifford Zoo

Onondaga County Executive Joanie Mahoney joined staff at the Rosamond Gifford Zoo recently to announce that a new Humboldt penguin chick hatched at the zoo this spring. Mahoney introduced the chick and announced a naming contest at today’s news conference.

“I am so pleased to welcome this new baby to the zoo,” Mahoney said. “We are very proud of our zoo’s success in raising Humboldt penguin chicks. Congratulations to the zoo staff on your great work.”

Humboldt penguins are native to the Humboldt Current along the coast of Peru and Chile in South America. Humboldt penguin populations have been severely declining in the wild, with only 10,000 to 12,000 breeding pairs remaining.

The Rosamond Gifford Zoo is a leader in Humboldt penguin conservation. It has a colony of 39 individuals and has hatched 54 chicks since 2006 as part of the Species Survival Plan, a program by the Association of Zoos & Aquariums (AZA) to save endangered species.

“Penguins from our colony travel to other AZA-accredited zoos and aquariums to continue populating the species while maintaining genetic diversity,” said Rosamond Gifford Zoo Director Ted Fox. “We are excited to continue our wonderful success with Humboldt penguins here, and it’s great to be part of the AZA’s efforts to save penguins worldwide.”

The new chick will be cared for by its parents for several weeks before it can go on exhibit at Penguin Coast with the rest of the colony.

The new chick hatched on May 5, weighing 68 grams, and is the offspring of Mario and Montaña. The mother, Montaña, hatched here in 2006.

Mahoney announced that the zoo is planning a naming contest for the chick in the coming weeks. Naming contest details will be shared via a media alert and on the zoo’s website and social media.


Founded in 1914, the Rosamond Gifford Zoo at Burnet Park is among the top 10 percent of zoos in the country as an accredited member of the Association of Zoos and Aquariums and is dedicated to connecting people to the natural world by providing engaging guest experiences, exceptional animal care, and unparalleled conservation education. The zoo actively collaborates with Friends of the Zoo to provide its guests “the best day ever,” ensuring experiences that excite, memories that endure, and knowledge that inspires worldwide conservation.

The 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 rosamondgiffordzoo.org.