Winner of Syracuse zoo's 'name the penguin' contest: Esteban
By John Mariani / The Post-Standard
June 03, 2010, 10:22AM
Syracuse, NY – Call him Esteban.
That’s the name that won the most votes in the Rosamond Gifford Zoo’s contest to name the first-hatched of this year’s clutch of nine Humboldt penguin chicks, County Executive Joanie Mahoney announced at a ceremony this morning at the Burnet Park Zoo.
“Esteban” was one of the six finalists selected by judges from 607 names submitted in the first phase of the contest. It received the most votes, 350, out of the 968 cast in the contest, said Lorrell Walter, speaking for the zoo.
Esteban is Spanish for "Steven," and Hannah Caccamo, 8, of Kirkville, submitted it. Her dad's name is Steven, and because penguin fathers care for their chicks and eggs, it would be cool to name this chick for the dad who takes care of her, she reasoned.
Hannah will receive a VIP tour of the zoo’s penguin facility and become Esteban’s adoptive parent for a year.
Only 17 votes behind was "Juntos," the name submitted by Ashleigh Kinder, a kindergarten teacher from Skaneateles who teaches at the International School in Antofagasta, Chile. Because the vote was so close, another chick will receive that name, zoo officials said.
Juntos means “together” and was picked by the class after it talked about the need for unity and helping people out in the wake of the earthquake and tsunami that devastated parts of the South American nation.
Zoo officials said they have named four more chicks, dubbing them Gabriela, Guillermo, JJ and Veinte. They are waiting to learn the genders of the remaining three before naming them.