A Flamingo Named T-Boz? Denver Zoo Holds Contest to Name New Chicks

The Denver Zoo has a strange tradition when it comes to naming its flamingos: It calls them after rock guitarists like Hendrix and Page. In August, the zoo welcomed three new fuzzy grey chicks, and it's holding a contest to name them. The zoo is soliciting monikers for these lovable living lawn ornaments on its Facebook page, and anyone who makes a suggestion can also enter to win a $500 flight voucher from Frontier Airlines. Thus far, the contest has attracted hundreds of suggestions.

We combed through them and picked our favorites.

See also: Zoo Matchmakers Help Animals Do What Should Come Naturally

First, some information provided by the zoo about the new babies:

Denver Zoo's flamingo flock is a little bigger thanks to three new adorable Chilean flamingo chicks.

The unnamed chicks were born at Denver Zoo to different parents on August 3, 10 and 16, respectively, and are all doing well under the care of their biological parents. Zookeepers used special incubation techniques which involved the use of a "dummy" egg and artificial incubation to ensure the flamingos hatched in good health.

The chicks are distinguishable from the rest of the flock, as their feathers are grey in color rather than pinkish-orange. It takes two to three years before their feathers will evolve into adult colors, which is caused by the algae and other food they consume. The average Chilean flamingo is three to four feet tall and weighs around five pounds.

Denver Zoo houses 52 Chilean flamingos and 21 American flamingos. The two species can be distinguished by their feathers. The Chileans' feathers are much lighter in color than those of American flamingos, which are almost salmon colored.
Traditionally, zookeepers choose the animals' names, and zoo spokesman Sean Andersen-Vie reports that the head flamingo keeper is a big fan of rock guitarists. Some of the zoo's adult flamingos have been christened Angus, Dio, Berry, Rizzo and Frehley.

This time, the zoo is asking for the public's help in naming its newest long-legged wading birds. The contest began on October 3 and will continue until October 10. One important thing to note: You can make suggestions on the zoo's Facebook page but in order to win the $500 airline voucher, you must also post your suggestions to a website called Woo Box.

Here are our top picks, culled from the suggestions made on Facebook so far. Clearly, not all commenters followed the rock-guitarist theme (Kim Kardashian? Peyton Manning?), but we included a few of those suggestions, too.

Zappa, Ramone and Santana Edgie, Adam and Bono Alvin, Simon and Theodore Kim, Khloe and Kourtney Crosby, Stills and Nash Scrambled, Poached and Benedict Peyton, Eli and Archie Gibson, Taylor and Fender Dylan, Holly and Cash Roger (McGuinn), David (Crosby), and Chris (Hillman) from The Byrds Bruce (Bruce Springsteen), Buck (Peter Buck) and Bo (Bo Diddley) Joe, Satriani, and Chickenfoot Slash, Axl, and Izzy Peter, Paul and Mary Stevie, Ray and Vaughan Ozzie, Iggy and Elvis B.B., The Edge and Flea T-Boz, Left Eye and Chilli Tori, Cindy and Fiona F is for Flamingo, so sticking with the F theme: Frampton, Fogerty and Frank (Zappa)

For what it's worth, Denver Zoo, we can't think of anything funnier than a baby flamingo named The Edge. Except maybe a baby flamingo named T-Boz.

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Melanie Asmar is a staff writer for Westword. She joined the paper in 2009 and has won awards for her stories about education, immigration and epic legal battles. Got a tip? She'd love to hear it.
Contact: Melanie Asmar