BALTIMORE — After a public contest to pick their names, the new African penguin chicks born to the Maryland Zoo’s colony will take the moniker’s of familiar literary characters.
The literary theme won out over naming the chicks after pasta or shades of colors in a public vote held by the zoo. So far nine chicks have been hatched during the zoo’s 2018-2019 breeding season. After the chicks get ID numbers, each is named according to a theme. The theme will apply to all future chicks born during the current breeding season as well.
So far, four chicks have been named:
- Gatsby, after the titular character of F. Scott Fitzgerald’s classic “The Great Gatsby.”
- Zorro, after the lead character in a series of books by author Johnston McCulley
- Coraline, the titular character of a Neil Gaiman fantasy children’s novella
- Knightley, named for the main character in the Jane Austin classic "Emma"
The zoo has been hatching penguins for more than 50 years, crossing the 1,000th chick threshold last spring.