BALTIMORE (WJZ) — Two new African penguins chicks have hatched at The Maryland Zoo in Baltimore and now visitors have a chance to name them.

“We hoped that moving the penguin colony in the beginning of breeding season would not impact egg laying this year, so we are delighted to welcome these first two chicks,” said Jen Kottyan, avian collection and conservation manager. “These chicks are not only the first to hatch this season; they are also being raised as part of our Animal Ambassador program. That means they will be traveling far and wide in the Zoomobile on education outreach programs.”

They are the first penguins to hatch in the zoo’s new Penguin Coast exhibit. The female chicks hatched on Oct. 4 and Oct. 9.

“The chicks are very healthy and are thriving under the care of the Animal Embassy staff,” continued Kottyan. “They now have their juvenile feathers, and they are very vocal chicks. We are looking for names to compliment the penguins already in the program – Tails, Winnie and Lilly.”

Zoo staff have selected the names below to choose from:

  • Shelly and Sandy – for the variety of beaches where they live in South Africa
  • Nellie and Mandie – for Nelson Mandela
  • Daisy and Rose – flower names to compliment current penguin Lilly
  • Dawn and Hope –  Dawn for the dishwashing detergent that is used to clean wild penguins caught in oil spills and Hope for the Cape of Good Hope, home to the Boulders Penguin Colony.

Visit the Maryland Zoo website for videos, photos and to vote on your favorite names starting Friday, Dec. 5. You can vote through Saturday, Dec. 20 and the names will be announced the next day.

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