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      Baby Humboldt penguin born at Syracuse zoo, first hatching of the year

      The Rosamond Gifford Zoo announced the hatching of a female Humboldt penguin chick on Thursday.

      Onondaga County Executive Joanne M. Mahoney joined the zoo staff at a news conference introducing the first penguin hatching of the year. She invited first graders from All Saints Elementary and children at the zoo to select the chickâ??s name from three options from the zoo staff.

      Three options were: Elisa, Francisca and Magdelena. The children chose to name the penguin chick Magdelena, which translates to Maggie into English.

      The zoo says it selected potential Hispanic names to reflect the penguinsâ?? Latin American origins.

      "Our zoo continues to play an important role in conserving this endangered species," said Ted Fox, zoo director. "Penguins from our colony will travel to other zoos and aquariums to ensure that our efforts continue to populate the species."

      Humboldt penguins are named after the Humboldt Current, according to the zoo, which is a cold nutrient-rich ocean current that flows along the west coast of South America. They are endangered with only 12,000 to 30,000 remaining in the wild.

      There are currently 34 penguins in the colony at the Rosamond Gifford Zoo. There were five hatchings at the zoo last year.