Cincinnati Zoo Names New Baby Penguin Chick in Honor of Betty White

White would have celebrated her 100th birthday today, Jan. 17.

click to enlarge Rose, the little blue penguin - PHOTO: LISA HUBBARD/CINCINNATI ZOO
Photo: Lisa Hubbard/Cincinnati Zoo
Rose, the little blue penguin

A new little blue penguin chick has been born at the Cincinnati Zoo and, based on her name, she's going to have some pretty big shoes to fill.

The month-old penguin has been named "Rose," after actress and comedian Betty White's character, Rose Nylund, on the iconic sitcom The Golden Girls.

White would have celebrated her 100th birthday today, Jan. 17, but she passed away on Dec. 31, 2021 at the age of 99.

In addition to being a star of the big and small screen, White was also a devoted animal lover and advocate. So the naming is a fitting tribute.

“Betty White was a huge zoo supporter and animal lover,” said Cincinnati Zoo director Thane Maynard in a release. “I had the pleasure of making her acquaintance years ago when she attended a Cincinnati Zoo fundraiser.  We introduced her to our first ambassador cheetah, Angel.”

The zoo's head bird keeper says Rose is "
healthy and on track to move to the little blue penguin habitat soon. " Visitors will be able to see her and the rest of the colony when the weather gets warmer. Little blue penguins are native to temperate climates like Australia and New Zealand, versus penguins like the king penguin, who live in colder temperatures.

If you want to see penguins now at the zoo, however, they are doing "Penguin Days." In addition to discounted admission, visitors can watch penguin parades at 11 a.m. and 2:30 p.m. Fridays through Sundays and holiday Mondays.

And if you want to pay your own tribute to Betty White, Betty White: 100 Years Young is screening locally and includes clips from White's legendary performances in The Golden Girls, The Mary Tyler Moore Show, Hot in Cleveland and others, and remembrances from many of her castmates and friends, including Ryan Reynolds, Carol Burnett, Valerie Bertinelli, Jennifer Love Hewitt and more.

Participating cinemas include:

  • Cinemark Oakley Station (3025 Disney St., Oakley) — 1, 4 and 7 p.m. Jan. 17
  • AMC Newport on the Levee 20 (Newport on the Levee, Newport) — 1, 4 and 7 p.m. Jan. 17
  • Western Hills 14 (5870 Harrison Ave., Western Hills) — 1, 4 and 7 p.m. Jan. 17
Tickets are available at fathomevents.com.

The Cincinnati Zoo is located at 3400 Vine St., Avondale. Tickets and info at cincinnatizoo.org.

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