Monday, July 23, 2012

Saturday July 21, 2012 - Penguin Chick Parade

As always the Penguin Chick event, March of the Penguins was great.  Aside from the absolute adorableness of the Penguin Chicks, I think this event also shines because of the work and love Penguin Keeper Anthony Brown has for these Animals in his care.  

This year the Chicks graduated from Fish School early, and took the the Parade route still wearing bits of their baby fur.  They were beyond cute!  

There were four graduates in the Class of 2012, two females and two males.  Three had already been named, the two boys, Bert and Eduardo, one girl, One?  The other girl was to be named by Contest during the event.

If I had the energy to make this post when I got home from the Zoo, the next part would have read a bit different, but thankfully a change was made.

The entry form for the naming contest stated to put down a girl's name.  It was a random drawing, which is always a crap shoot.  Anthony drew the winner and the name they chose was Russell Brand.  I felt like crying.

HOW could someone choose this?  SERIOUSLY?  For those who don't know Russell Brand, he is a British Actor/Comedian (google him if you're interested in more).  That said, there is just so many things wrong with this.  

Before I go on with all that's wrong with this, I will say two things.

I was immediately hurt that someone would choose this for a sweet little eight week old FEMALE chick.  I was immediately pissed that this entry was not disqualified on the spot for not choosing a female name or at least something cute and appropriate.  Thankfully the overwhelming cuteness of seeing the little ones made me forget how pissed and hurt I was long enough to be joyful watching their journey to the island :)

I will write about this situation more, but first I will note that a friend did let me know that a change was made and posted to the Zoo's Facebook page (which I do not follow).  The winner stood but the name did not.  The new name for the Chick is Perri, which is the winner's (female) name.  THANK YOU SFZOO! Whoever put their foot down and stopped naming that poor thing Russell Brand, Kudos!  You did the right thing. 

Now, for my thoughts.

For those who follow my blog know I do not have faith in the Human Species to think and/or act Respectful (decent/moral/any of the many appropriate words) when it comes to Animals.  Humans did not fail me in this situation.

This next part I direct mostly to the San Francisco Zoo.

For one, the naming of Animals should be taken seriously.  I have written alot on name changing, the only relation to those feelings I'm going to relate to in this post is the first and last name thing.  Which I will post in two words, Brian Wilson.  Ridiculous.  

Please make some rules in regard to naming the Animals, whether its the first name an Animal is recieving as a young one, or renaming :( an Animal with an established name.

First, No first and last names.  Its just dumb.
Second, the name should be gender specific, relevant to the Native Culture of Species Origin, or simply be cute or fun.  

This was a Member event.  Members get the Memo via email about the event.  Information was given about the Chick who needs a name SO THAT a name could be chosen that reflected her.  ... Anthony did say that this was a new Member, regardless, there must have been guidelines at the contest table, if not, people just need to have better sense.

From the Zoo email notice:

"Personality: She is very outgoing and usually the first to explore new objects, things, and/or people. The first chick to hatch this year, she's about a week older than the other three chicks. During feeding time, she's always in front, even if she isn't hungry!"

I chose Starlet based on the description of her personality.  And the description was accurate!  She was the leader in the parade!  Adventuring first and often ahead of her classmates. My friend Lee chose Sirena, which is Spanish for Mermaid.  

That said, another "rule" suggestion.  When doing a random drawing, amend that to be random drawing of Keeper favorites.  OR just do this and don't tell anyone.  Sort thru and pick the appropriate ones and THEN put them into the box you choose from.

Seriously, I took 453 photos and as I went thru them that night, I almost cried when I looked at their precious faces, thinking that one little girl would be literally BRANDed her whole life with that awful name.  No offence to Russell Brand, its just not a name for a pretty little baby Penguin girl.  Even if it was a boy, the winner showed no respect in choosing this name.  It was chosen as a joke, just like the donor who picked Brian Wilson as the name for Tucker the Hippo.

The Zoo seriously needs to put restricions on naming the animals.  This priveldge whether you pay for it or win it, should be treated as an honor, not a joke.

As I moved around the Parade route I happened upon Zoo Director Tanya Peterson, bouncing up and down, while high pitched shouting out to Keeper Anthony and pointing to people next to her, "This is the Family that named One."  ...  Another name which should have been veto'd.   Just awful.  Please rename this precious little girl.

The Chicks pictured above are:  Eduardo (red band) riding in the wagon, (l-r) One (blue band), Perri (silver band) and Bert (black striped band).

 It was hard to dwindle down all my photos
to an amount to make a video.
453, 291, 182, finally I couldn't go
less than just over a hundred
so i made two videos!
Here are the links, enjoy!


First Swim
NOTE:  I have read twitter statements and it appears that it was the contest winner who wanted to change the name.  So, I have to wonder, would the Zoo have left this sweet little girl Penguin carry the moniker of Russell Brand?


  1. I felt exactly how you did about the name of Russell Brand, that was uncaring and idiotic. Thankfully the name has been changed. Keeper Anthony did a great job and truly knows his penguins and his love for them shows through. I hope that the zoo does a little more thinking on names. That person that originally picked Russell Brand must not have known how to read....the paper blatanly stated "pick female name". I enjoyed seeing the penguins, it was my first time watching the march, glad it was a members thing. I was lucky a few years ago to help socialize with baby penguins. It was an experience that I will never forget. Wonderful and precious little birds, LOVE THEM !!!

  2. @Lee- Thank you for your comment! I agree. ... If you want to ever write a bit about your experience with the Penguin Chick's I will post it and your photos!


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