WASHINGTON, December 6, 2006 - The blue-footed booby has waddled its way into the top five list of most sought after holiday animal adoptions, easily beating out better known animals like the gorilla and penguin in World Wildlife Fund's holiday gift-giving program.
Topping the list for WWF holiday gift adoptions is the polar bear - quickly losing its icy habitat to climate change - followed by the endangered tiger, snow leopard and giant panda - all threatened by illegal poaching or habitat loss - and lastly, the audacious blue-footed booby.
Top 5 Animals Adopted in the WWF Online Adoption Center:
1) Polar Bear
3) Snow Leopard
5) Blue-Footed Booby
The booby is a tropical seabird known for its blue webbed feet, its clumsiness on land and an unusual name, which is derived from the Spanish term "bobo" meaning "stupid fellow." Some say it got its name because of its unusual bravery - rarely scared of humans or other danger that comes its way. Unlike the holiday bird of choice for Americans, the blue-footed booby is rare and can only be found in the Galapagos Islands and other parts of the Pacific coast of South America. WWF has been working to protect the array of wildlife in this area for over 40 years.
The blue-footed booby and 39 other animals, each unique in its own way, are available for adoption through WWF's symbolic animal adoption program, which allows gift-givers to adopt an animal in honor of a friend, colleague or loved one. Adoption levels range in price from $25 to $250 and for the month of December, all adoptions of $50 or more will get free priority shipping. Gifts ordered by 10 PM on December 17 will arrive before December 25.
All adoptions come with a formal adoption certificate, a color photo of the adopted animal and a species description card. In addition to these items, adoptions of $50 or more come with a soft animal plush representative of the species adopted and adoptions of $100 or more come in a WWF panda logo gift box with a custom frame to display the adoption certificate and photo.
In addition to the gift package sent in the mail, all online adoption donations of any amount come with a free online premium package, which includes a personalized electronic adoption certificate, screensavers, wallpaper and AIM icons all customized to the animal adopted. The online package can be sent anytime - even on December 25 - with the mailed items to arrive later.