In a rare bit of adorable news, the Audubon Aquarium of the Americas in New Orleans made a non-coronavirus-related announcement that will surely put a smile on every animal and basketball lover’s face. The aquarium said Tuesday that it named its newborn penguin chick Zion, after the Pelicans‘ rookie phenom.
The aquarium posted photos of the small animal on its Instagram page, and it’s truly difficult to overstate just how adorable this creature is.
This decision wasn’t just made because Williamson is the biggest sports star in town not named Drew Brees. Part of the reason behind making the 19-year-old Pelicans forward the penguin’s namesake is because of his generosity during this turbulent time that the coronavirus pandemic has caused. On March 13, the rookie announced that he was going to pay forto the workers at Smoothie King Arena, who would be without jobs while the league was suspended because of the respiratory virus.
“[T]his is a small way for me to express my support and appreciation for these wonderful people who have been so great to me and my teammates,” Williamson said on Instagram about his decision.
The penguin is just the latest animal to be named after a Louisiana sports superstar in recent months. Before this, the Baton Rouge Zoo named a new giraffe Burreaux after Heisman-winning LSU quarterback, and national champion, Joe Burrow.