Maryland Zoo announces penguin chick name contest winner


A public vote was held to name one of the zoo’s newly hatched African penguin chicks

Image courtesy of Maryland Zoo

Image courtesy of Maryland Zoo

The Maryland Zoo asks the public every year to help it name one of the newly hatched African penguin chicks. This past fall, voters were tasked to pick between 3 Italian food-themed names: Mozzarella, Limoncello, or Ravioli, and with over 4,400 votes tallied, the Zoo announced Ravioli was the winner.1

“We’ve already had four of these amazing chicks hatch at the Zoo this breeding season,” said Kirby Fowler, Maryland Zoo president and CEO, in an organizational release.1 “The naming competition is a fun way to draw attention to our program and the serious conservation issues facing African penguins, which are endangered in the wild.”

According to the release, the zoo begins the breeding season in mid-September and it goes until the end of February.1 This is to recreate the spring-to-summer breeding season the penguins would experience in the wild in South Africa and Namibia.

The zoo has the largest collection of African penguins in North America with over 1,000 chicks hatched there within the last 50 years. Although most stay in Baltimore, the zoo shared they are set to establish new colonies at zoos across the United States and beyond. Some of their penguins can be found in Canada, Spain, South Africa, the Netherlands, and more.

Ravioli and its siblings will stay out of public view until they are older. However, the public can visit the rest of the penguins at the zoo or check out the live Penguin Cam.


Maryland Zoo announces winner of penguin chick naming contest. News release. Maryland Zoo. December 6, 2022. Accessed December 8, 2022.

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