CHESTER Zoo has named its two penguin chicks after Wrexham AFC's star co-owners.

The zoo has named its two Humboldt penguin chicks Ryan and Rob.

Chester Zoo said: "In a bid to bring some much-needed attention to Humboldt penguins – a species that is vulnerable to extinction – one of our zookeepers has named two new chicks after the owners of their favourite local football team,Wrexham_AFC's Hollywood superstars Ryan Reynolds and Rob McElhenney.

"At just over three months old, Ryan and Rob have just hit the water for their first swimming lessons."

Zoe Sweetman, team manager of penguins and parrots at the zoo, said: “After hatching out of their eggs only a few months ago, these two youngsters have been closely cared for by their parents while snuggled up in their nests.

"But now they’ve shed their fluffy grey feathers and developed their multi-layered waterproof feathers. Watching as they tentatively make a splash is a real joy and within minutes they did what comes naturally to them, and now they’re zooming through the waters at high speed."

The Leader:

Zoe said each year the team enjoys choosing a different naming theme for the chicks to help garner some much needed attention for the species.

"We’ve previously had brands of crisps, chocolate bars and types of fruit," she said.

"This year, as one of our penguin keepers is huge fan of local football team, Wrexham AFC, we decided to do something a little different and name the two new male arrivals after Wrexham’s Hollywood owners Ryan (Reynolds) and Rob (McElhenney).

The Leader:

"They’re both so full of personality and charisma – so it seemed rather fitting. Their diving skills are already spot on.

“While it’s a lot of fun, there’s also a serious message behind it too.

"We hope we can help spread some much-needed awareness about the importance of wildlife conservation and inspire more people to take small, daily steps in playing an active role in protecting the future of species like the Humboldt penguin."

She added: "Some very simple things we can all do are using less single-use plastics, eating sustainably caught fish, and reducing energy use - even if it’s just a little - that contributes to the warming of the seas.”

The Leader: Penguins at Chester Zoo Names Rob and Ryan.Penguins at Chester Zoo Names Rob and Ryan. (Image: SWNS)

The International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN) classifies the Humboldt penguin as "Vulnerable" on its Red List of Threatened Species.

The zoo says contributing factors to their decline include overfishing, habitat destruction and pollution, as well as climate change.

Additionally, human encroachment on their nesting sites disrupts their colonies, putting further pressure on the species.

Chester Zoo has a breeding programmes with other major conservation zoos across the globe in a bid to protect the endangered species.


Wrexham AFC fans certainly see the funny side of things. 

One fan posted on Twitter X: "Chester Zoo now latching on to Wrexham AFC, you love to see it".

Another added: "We'll have a club shop in the city centre soon."