Lincoln Park Zoo Announces Naming Contest for Recently Hatched African Spoonbill Chick

Lincoln Park Zoo Announces Naming Contest for Recently Hatched African Spoonbill Chick

Public to Vote on Spoonbill Chick, Names Submitted by Zoo Members

Chicago (February 18, 2021) — There’s a new chick on the block at Lincoln Park Zoo. An African spoonbill chick hatched at Regenstein African Journey and the zoo announced it’s looking to the public to help name the feathery addition!

The African spoonbill chick hatched to pair adult spoonbills Luke (male) and Annabelle (female) on January 22 as part of the African Spoonbill Species Survival Plan®. The chick is doing well and continues to surpass critical milestones. The youngster has yet to be sexed.

Lincoln Park Zoo members had the unique opportunity to submit names for the chick. After careful thought and consideration, the top five names were chosen by the Animal Care staff:

  • Kijiko (kee-jee-ko), the translation of “spoon” in Swahili
  • Lukabelle, a combination of parents Luke and Annabelle
  • Alba, for the spoonbill latin name, Platalea alba
  • River, for the spoonbill’s native river habitat and Spoon River in Illinois
  • Kazinga, for the Kazinga Channel in Uganda where spoonbills can be found

The public can cast their vote for their favorite name on the zoo’s website at Voting will close at midnight on February 24.

“African spoonbill chicks grow quite fast, with the chick becoming full grown and ready to leave the nest in about just six weeks”, said Curator of Mammals Mike Murray. “It’s been extraordinary watching the chick grow and pass critical milestones”.

The new addition is Luke and Annabelle’s second offspring. Their first offspring, Lucia, hatched last June and was a welcome addition amidst the uncertainty of the COVID-19 pandemic.

This unique species has striking white plumage, a featherless red face, and long red legs. Their elongated beak ends in a flat, extended bulge resembling a spoon, which

helps with capturing fish, crustaceans, and insects. African spoonbills are widespread across sub-Saharan Africa.

Lincoln Park Zoo is temporarily closed to the public until March 4. To learn more, visit

As with many cultural institutions, the pandemic has presented many financial challenges. Please consider supporting your free zoo during this difficult time by donating today at

About Lincoln Park Zoo

Lincoln Park Zoo inspires communities to create environments where wildlife will thrive in our urbanizing world. The zoo is a leader in local and global conservation, animal care and welfare, learning, and science. A historic Chicago landmark founded in 1868, the not-for-profit Lincoln Park Zoo is a privately-managed, member-supported organization and is free and open 365 days a year. Visit us at

Media Contacts

Jillian Braun

Lincoln Park Zoo

Anna Cieslik

Lincoln Park Zoo


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