Red Planet Landing Inspires Names for Little Blue Penguin Chicks at the Cincinnati Zoo

Posted February 19, 2021

Meet the newest additions to the Zoo family – Mars and Rover

CINCINNATI, OH (February 19, 2021) — The bird team at the Cincinnati Zoo & Botanical Garden is over the moon for the 4-week-old little blue penguin chicks that have been named Mars and Rover as a nod to NASA’s successful Mars landing.

“We usually stick with food and car-themed names for this species, but yesterday’s spacecraft touchdown inspired us to break tradition,” said Cincinnati Zoo bird team curator Jenny Gainer.  “Technically, Mars is a candy brand and Rover is a car, so they still sort of fit.”

The name announcement was made earlier today during a Facebook Live Home Safari with the penguins behind the scenes in the bird house nursery.  The Zoo has been keeping people connected to their favorite animals with its winter Home Safari series, which started February 1 and will continue through the end of this month.

Visitors will be able to see Mars and Rover in the spring when they join the rest of the little penguin colony in Roo Valley. The Cincinnati Zoo opens daily at 10 a.m. Zoo admission is discounted through March 12. Reservations are required and masks must be worn while at the Zoo. For more information, visit