The Little Rock Zoo today said that the public vote is in and Winston was the winner — barely over Nigel and handily over Melvin — in a contest to name the newest African penguin.

Some 1,500 voted on a name for the bird, which is expected to be an “animal ambassador,” at public events and education programs.  The vote:  627 for Winston, 514 for Nigel, 284 for Melvin and 68 write-ins.


Hatched Nov. 2, Winston is an observation room at the Laura P. Nichols Penguin Pointe exhibit. Once able to swim and defend himself from neighbors, he’ll join the rest of the colony on public display. He’s the seventh chick hatched at the zoo and the first to penguin parents Domino and Laura (named for the donor Laura P. Nichols). Zoo background:

There are about 52,000 mature African penguins in the wild, making them an endangered species. Also called jackass penguins because of their braying donkey-like calls, these aquatic birds dine on fish and are well-suited to Arkansas’s climate.