Members of Shedd Aquarium Name Female Rockhopper Penguin Chick

April 15, 2014

The votes are in and the penguin chick’s name is…Ruggles!

On Tues., April 15 at 10:30 a.m., Shedd Aquarium announced the name of its newest female rockhopper penguin (Eudyptes chrysocome) chick at a members-only naming reveal celebration. Shedd members were offered an exclusive opportunity to vote on a name for the penguin chick between April 5 and April 11. Out of 846 votes cast, Shedd member’s votes were counted and the winning name is…Ruggles.

The marine mammal’s team at Shedd provided name choices, which reflect the geographic native habitats of rockhopper penguins.  Ruggles refers to Ruggles Bay and the facing Ruggles Island in the Falklands. Her parents are Drake, named after Drake Passage in the Southern (or Antarctic) Ocean, and Magdalena, named for an island off Chile’s coast. Other potential names included Gypsy, Lennox, Dawson, and Marta.

In addition to naming the penguin chick, Shedd members have many benefits including unlimited free admission and sneak peeks of new animals and exhibits. Membership fees help support the aquarium’s various conservation and educational programs, collections, and exhibits. More information on Shedd membership can be found on Shedd’s website. Some of the reasons why members chose the name Ruggles include:

“Our family thought it sounded like a fun, playful name, and we think she will be a fun, playful addition to the penguin family.”-Erin, Shedd Member

"Penguins are such characters—the way they move and interact with each other—that Ruggles just seems so appropriate.” -Kathleen, Shedd Member

Hatched on June, 12th, 2013 to parents Drake and Magdalena, the newest penguin chick, Ruggles,’s gender was revealed through a DNA test at a recent gender reveal party. During one of her fist check-ups, Ruggles weighed 75 grams and her most recently recorded weight was 4.9 pounds. Since 1991, Shedd has been part of a successful penguin breeding program. The aquarium has also sent its penguin experts to assist with international rescue and rehabilitation efforts. Due to disease and warming ocean temperatures, the wild rockhopper penguin population is listed as “vulnerable” by the International Union for the Conservation of Nature.

PHOTOS: High resolution photos of the penguin chick at birth, recent check-up and name reveal are available for download: Lana Vanagasem, manager of penguins and sea otters, talks about Ruggles, the newest rockhopper penguin chick.

Photo credit: ©Shedd Aquarium/Brenna Hernandez

Shedd Aquarium is supported by the people of Chicago, the State of Illinois and the Chicago Park District. Shedd Aquarium is an accredited member of the Association of Zoos and Aquariums (AZA).

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