The newest manatee at the Columbus Zoo and Aquarium needs a name, and it’s up to all of us to choose it.
The female manatee calf arrived in Columbus in April, but now the Zoo is asking for fans to help choose the perfect name for this little lady. The naming contest will run from June 8 through June 22, coinciding with World Oceans Day.
The baby was rescued with her mother in early February off the coast of Florida. Although the calf was suffering from cold stress, her mother’s injuries were much worse, and the baby was orphaned just two days after her rescue. The calf recovered at SeaWorld Orlando before herself and another orphan, Heavy Falcon, were transferred to the Columbus Zoo for rehabilitation.
The two manatees have grown close and spend a lot of time splashing around together. Since the trainers now know the calfs better, it’s officially time to give the little girl a name!
Four Ohio-themed names have been chosen. According to the Zoo, those names are:
Carmen: “A nod to ‘Carmen Ohio,’ The Ohio State University alma mater. Rooted in rich tradition, the song, which means ‘Song of Ohio’ in Latin, is the oldest school song still used by the university and highlights — through time and change — the strong bonds of friendship.”
Scioto: “The Columbus Zoo and Aquarium is nestled along the Scioto River. The river stretches 231 miles in length, and early settlers often used the body of water for transportation. More recently, restoration efforts have been initiated to reduce pollution in the river and result in healthier water for humans and wildlife. The Scioto River flows into the Olentangy River and meets the Ohio River, which subsequently flows into the Mississippi River— leading to the Gulf of Mexico, where manatees can be found. This connection is reminder of how actions we take in Ohio can make a positive impact for the future of manatees and their habitats.”
Trillium: “Trillium grandiflorum can be found in all 88 counties in Ohio and was adopted as Ohio’s state wildflower in 1987. These delicate flowers blossom around the time this young manatee arrived at the Columbus Zoo and Aquarium.”
Sloopy: “Written in 1965, ‘Hang on Sloopy’ by the McCoys is the state rock song of Ohio–the only state to have an official rock song. After already facing many challenges in her young life, this rescued manatee has demonstrated resilience and her will to ‘hang on’ in order to overcome the odds—and to fight for her species’ future.”
From June 8 until June 22, 2018, you can vote for a single name in a 24-hour period on the Zoo’s website. Once the votes are counted, the name will be announced on the Zoo’s social media accounts and website on June 25.
The little nugget is the 29th manatee to be rehabilitated at the Columbus Zoo and Aquarium since the Zoo’s involvement in the Manatee Rescue and Rehabilitation Partnership (MRP) began in 2001.