• EVERY STUDENT, EVERY CHANCE, EVERY DAY •Dr. David E. Cash, Superintendent • 720 Santa Barbara Street, Santa Barbara, CA 93101 • (805) 963-4338
Tuesday, April 17, 2012
At approximately 2:45 p.m. today the attire will be black and white when several Dos Pueblos High School’s Engineering Academy (DPEA) students, dressed in their team’s black and white jumpsuits, visit their team’s adopted mascot at the Santa Barbara Zoo: a live Humboldt penguin in the Foster Feeder Program. A private sponsor made this unique Premier Foster Feeder opportunity possible, which enables the students to enjoy naming rights for the animal.
The nine-year-old female penguin, hatched on April 9, 2003 at the Philadelphia Zoo, has been at home at the Santa Barbara Zoo for the past five years, sharing her home with 17 other penguin buddies. As Premier Foster Feeders, DPEA students faced the challenge of finding a suitable name for their mascot.
Fifty-three names were suggested and sophomore Amaris Uribe submitted the winning entry: “1717ina” (pronounced “Seventeen-Seven-Tina”), aka “Tina.”
Before seeing Tina, the students will have an up-close encounter with Pee-Gloo, one of the zoo’s animal ambassadors. Pee-Gloo was hand raised and as a result she is very comfortable around humans. After meeting Pee-Gloo, the students will visit the penguin exhibit to see Tina and the exhibit plaque, which reads: “1717ina ‘Tina’ sponsored by the Dos Pueblos Engineering Academy ‘D’Penguineers.’” Zoo officials will present DPEA director Amir Abo-Shaeer with a framed certificate and photo of Tina.
A little known fact about Tina, who sports a red/yellow wing tag, is that she loves to follow shadows and “play” with the guests through the viewing glass.
At today’s introduction to the team’s new mascot, the Santa Barbara Zoo will generously support the celebration by providing an ice cream sundae bar for the students’ enjoyment.
On April 25-28, Tina will be with the D’Penguineers in spirit when the robotics team competes at the FIRST World Championship in St. Louis.
To visit Tina or learn more about the Foster Feeder Program, stop by the Santa Barbara Zoo, 500 Ninos Drive, Santa Barbara, CA. You will recognize her. Like her human counterparts on Team 1717, Tina is the one dressed in black and white.
Humboldt penguins are threatened in their native habitat along the Pacific Coast of South America from Peru to Chile, where their populations are in serious decline. They are considered “vulnerable,” one step away from “endangered,” by the World Conservation Union, an international body of thousands of scientists who assess the status of the world’s plants and animals. The total world population of Humboldt penguins is around 12,000 breeding pairs and is currently in serious decline. The causes include over-fishing of their food supply, entanglement in fishing nets, commercial removal of the guano they use for burrows, and predation. There are worries that the species could become extinct within decades.