The Tulsa Zoo catalogued more than 10,000 votes from the public to determine the winning name for their penguin chick: River. The zoo also determined the sex of the penguin through an outside DNA test, which shows River is female.
“River has grown so much over the past three months,” said Zoological Supervisor – Birds Taylor Harris. “She is now a full-grown juvenile with her waterproof feathers. We’re currently working to introduce her to the rest of our penguin colony and can’t wait to see what the future holds!”
River was hatched to parents Dassen and Ireland on Oct. 3, through Tulsa Zoo’s participation in the AZA African Penguin Species Survival Plan®.
When choosing name options, the zookeepers found inspiration in the penguin chick’s animal identification number: 4242. Name options included the following:
- River, which is short for Mariano Rivera (#42), who was a Hall of Fame closing pitcher for the New York Yankees.
- Sandy, which is short for Sandman. This was a nickname for Mariano Rivera (#42).
- Robbie, which is short for Jackie Robinson (#42), who was the first African American MLB baseball player.