Rosamond Gifford Zoo names finalists in penguin naming contest

Humboldt penguin

The Rosamond Gifford Zoo has picked the finalists in its penguin naming contest. The winning name will go to the first penguin chick of this year hatched at the zoo.

The public was invited to submit name suggestions for the chick. In all, the zoo received 573 name suggestions for a boy and 579 suggestions for a girl. Zoo officials want the name to reflect its heritage, and names with a Latin American influence were given a preference. Entries were judged on their creativity and overall appeal.

This map shows you where the in the world the names came from.

The finalists for a girl name are:

Cataleya (cot-uh-LEH-uh)

Submitted by Michaela Renfree, 25, of Warwick, R.I.

"Not only is it a beautiful name, but I love the way it rolls off the tongue."

Eva (EH-vuh)

Submitted by Angelina Sparano, 21, of Syracuse, N.Y.

"I chose it because it means 'life' and what better name for a baby penguin who has a brand new life?"

Hota (HO-tuh)

Submitted by Ms. Files' class at Corcoran High School in Syracuse, N.Y.

"This name is in honor of Thomas J. Corcoran High School history teacher, Noelle Files. Ms. Files teaches History Of The Americas (HOTA). Penguins are her favorite animal and we think it would be a great present to name a penguin in honor of her. She is the best teacher."

Isabelita (ees-UH-buh-lee-tuh)

Submitted by Cassiano Henrique, 24, of Curitiba, Paraná, Brazil

"The name is a tribute to writer, Isabel Allende. She was born in Perú and lived most of her life in Chile, the two countries where the Humboldt penguins are found in the wild. So, this is a great name if the penguin is a female!"

Solana (so-LAW-nuh)

Submitted by Danielle Hernandez, 24, of Roseville, Minn.

"This means 'sunshine' in Spanish, how appropriate for a Humboldt penguin chick."

The finalists for a boy name are:

Alberto (all-BER-toe)

Submitted by Kristy Lee Witt, 28, of North Syracuse, N.Y.

"Alberto means 'noble and bright' in Spanish. It is the Spanish translation of 'Albert,' which is the name of my unborn son ... who is due any day now! Guess the penguins beat him to a birthday!" (Note: This submission was received prior to Albert's birth on February 1)

Caio (KAYE-oh)

Submitted by Leila Silva, 21, of Belém, Pará, Brazil

"It is a name that expresses exactly what I saw when I looked at the photo of the baby! It brings joy."

Fausto (FOWS-toe)

Submitted by Allison Cromwell, 30, of Brooklyn, N.Y.

"The name means 'fortunate or lucky.' This chick is lucky to be in a safe environment."

Inigo (in-EE-go)

Submitted by Joerg Weese, 38, of Nuremberg, Bavaria, Germany

"In my opinion, one of the best-known and most popular male Hispanic names is Inigo because of The Princess Bride."

Mauricio (more-EATS-ee-oh)

Submitted by Eduardo Calonego, 25, of Itu, São Paulo, Brazil

"Here in our work we have a Mauricio, Diego, Carlos, Hugo, and Eduardo (myself). All of these names have been used in other penguins, except Mauricio."

You can vote for your favorite name by

clicking here

. Facebook fans can place an additional vote through a poll on the zoo's Facebook page. All votes must be received by noon EST on February 16.

The name that receives the highest number of votes will be the name by which the penguin chick will be known. The winner will receive a penguin Adopt an Animal package valued at $100 and a VIP tour of the zoo. If distance prevents the winner from visiting, the zoo will arrange for a behind-the-scenes video tour at the penguin exhibit.

Which is your favorite name? Leave your thoughts below.