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Dora does it!

Published: 14 September 2022

Dora Little Blue Penguin

Thousands of appreciative fans from across the world have named little penguin Dora the new Kororā Champion. Dora’s win comes as the National Aquarium of New Zealand celebrates Penguin of the Year’s fifth anniversary, with Dora a perennial favourite but not yet a winner. Of the total votes this year, over 25% went to Dora.

Most votes came from New Zealand, followed by Australia, UK, and USA.  Votes were also received from Argentina, Sweden, Italy, China, Poland and Ecuador. Many schools also got involved, both local and international, incorporating Penguin of the Year into their lessons. The campaign also got the backing of business with organisations using it as a team building exercise.

Rebekah Cuthbert, Supervisor of Birds at the National Aquarium, says Penguin of the Year is a lot of fun, but its purpose is to help people understand the challenges kororā face in the wild. 

“We’ve enjoyed reading through the thousands of comments from those who have voted, many thanking us for the work we do as well as more understanding being gained from the stories we’ve shared about each of our kororā,” explains Rebekah. “We’ve seen an increase in understanding from our followers about what they can do to help such as keeping dogs on leads to minimise risk to wildlife and picking up litter when on the beach.”

Dora’s prize for taking our 2022 Penguin of the Year is a special treat of extra fish. The National Aquarium team will continue to share updates on the little penguins at Penguin Cove with a planned Penguin All Star campaign in 2023. 

More about Dora:

Dora came to the aquarium at only five days old as an abandoned chick, and she is famous for her prima-donna behavior. She’s well-loved as one of the first penguins to greet visitors as they come to Penguin Cove. Other notable attributes include, her continued vendetta against male keepers, wanting to stay in bed all day and stealing the limelight during keeper talks. 

Quotes from voters:

“We are a kindergarten class in Memphis, TN who voted on Dora for our math lesson. Each child got one vote, and we counted them as class to discover Dora was our winner! She reminds us a lot of the little girls in our class, Go Dora!” – USA

“Thank you for taking care of penguins. The Fairy Penguins from Whirlpool Galaxy appreciate humans taking care of their little critters they share the Earth with equally.” – USA

“I absolutely love your naughty and nice penguins and the fantastic job you do with this contest and with caring for these sweet animals.  Keep up the great work, this type of fun engagement is so important for people worldwide to understand the important role aquariums play in conservation and rescue.” - USA

“This is such a clever way to engage your followers and spread awareness. #teamdora.” -Malaysia

“This was a very difficult decision. They are all excellent penguins.” – Canada

“We love Dora and how she’s always swimming up by the glass.” – New Zealand

“I love all the penguins. But I think Kaewa is cool, because of the story. I love the name too. Every penguin deserves the chance to win this ❤️.” - New Zealand

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