LA JOLLA, Calif. — An adorable little blue penguin’s name was announced Friday by Birch Aquarium at Scripps Institution of Oceanography after receiving nearly 2,500 votes from the public.
Azulito, which translates to “little blue” in Spanish, was the winning name divers unveiled for the little blue penguin at the venue’s Giant Kelp Forest, according to aquarium officials.
“This is the first time we have invited the public to help name one of our animals,” lead penguin aquarist Kayla Strate said. “So, it was a special moment for aquarium fans as well as our staff. We hope this is the beginning of a long tradition of naming our penguins. We want to thank everyone who submitted a name online. Azulito is the perfect fit for this tiny penguin and we love that it’s a nod to our binational region.”
Voters were asked to choose between five names that each have unique ties to San Diego, Scripps Oceanography and UC San Diego: Azulito (924 votes), Diego (588 votes), Flip (438 votes), Triton (234 votes) and Torrey (281 votes).
A new home will open for Azulito and the other little ones at Beyster Family Little Blue Penguins, a 2,900 square foot exhibit that follows the world’s smallest penguins while facing a changing climate, Birch Aquarium stated.
Visitors will be able to see the aquarium’s newest residents starting July 1, with the exhibit being included in the cost of general admission: $24.95 for adults and $19.95 for children ages 3-17.
Visit aquarium.ucsd.edu for ticket information.