Calgary

Meet Baby Eddy: Calgary Zoo's king penguin gets suitably royal name Edward

The Calgary Zoo’s newest king penguin has been given a suitably royal name after zoo volunteers voted on the three possible choices.

'The kings are all named after royalty,' zoo official says

Edward, the newly named king penguin chick, gets a little grooming from his mother, Grace. (Calgary Zoo)

The Calgary Zoo's newest king penguin has been given the suitably royal name of Edward.

It hatched last August from an egg laid by his mother, Grace, back on June 16, 2016.

But it took until a few months ago for zoo staff to determine the sex of the chick.  ​
The Calgary Zoo has a tradition of giving its king penguins royal-sounding names, such as Henry, Edward or Louis. (Calgary Zoo)

And the naming process started.

"Now, as a king penguin, he needs an appropriate royal name," said zoo interpreter Lauryn Record.

"The kings are all named after royalty."

Zookeepers put together a list of names, whittled it down to three — Henry, Edward and Louis — and then zoo volunteers took a vote.

The winning name, Edward, was revealed on Thursday at the Penguin Plunge.

The chick is named after King Edward VII, who reigned from 1901 until his death in 1910.

"He was responsible for naming King Edward Point, which is on South Georgia Island, which is where the largest colony of king penguins are," Record said. 

Edward is already five kilograms heavier than his mom, Record said.

"King penguin chicks get to be super fat. And they're super adorable."

Edward is the second king penguin born at the zoo. Nero hatched in 2015 and joined the king penguin colony last year. 

King penguins are bred at the Calgary Zoo as part of a Species Survival Plan.

"So, having another addition is really exciting for all of us," Record said. 

The zoo now has nine king penguins, 16 gentoos, five rockhoppers, and 15 Humboldts.

Tragically, seven Humboldt penguins were found drowned at the back of the Penguin Plunge exhibit in December.

Despite an extensive investigation, the zoo said last month it's still not known what caused the deaths.

Baby Edward, newly hatched in August 2016, peeks out from under its mother, Grace, at the Calgary Zoo. (Calgary Zoo)

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