The Columbus Zoo and Aquarium needs your help to name a manatee calf! The female calf arrived in April after being rescued with her mother off the coast of Florida. Unfortunately her mother didn’t make it, but after this calf stabilized, she and a young orphaned male calf named Heavy Falcon, were transferred to the Columbus Zoo in April to continue their rehabilitation journeys before their eventual releases to Florida waters.
Heavy Falcon received his name as a nod to the SpaceX Falcon Heavy rocket launch that took place on February 6, 2018 – the same day he was rescued. Columbus Zoo staff wants your votes so the female manatee receives the name that best suits her. The Zoo animal care team notes that she is more shy and cautious than some of the other manatees, and that they especially love her sweet demeanor. The naming opportunity, presented by Kroger, began June 8, and will run until June 22.
The animal care team and Kroger helped narrow down the list of names to four options that each carries important significance to the state of Ohio. It’s your chance to help name a manatee! Here are the choices:
- 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.
Help name a manatee!
You can vote for a single name within a 24 hour period on the Zoo’s website until June 22, and the name will be announced by the Zoo on June 25. I’d love to hear the name you chose for this sweet manatee – leave it in the comments or on social media!
The female calf 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.
As part of the Manatee Rescue & Rehabilitation Partnership (MRP), the Columbus Zoo and Aquarium serves as a second-stage rehabilitation facility that provides a temporary home for manatees until they are ready for release back to the wild.
photos courtesy of the Columbus Zoo and Aquarium
Want to visit the Columbus Zoo? Check out the upcoming events and specials at the Zoo.
- Columbus Zoo Tickets and Discounts
- Columbus Zoo and Zoombezi Bay 2 day discount
- $3 admission to Columbus Zoo when you take the COTA
- COTA Bus Service and Discount for the Columbus Zoo and Zoombezi Bay
- Zoofari at the Columbus Zoo is One Wild Night: June 16
- Celebrate Father’s Day at the Columbus Zoo with free admission for dads: June 17
- World’s Largest Swimming Lesson and discount at Zoombezi Bay: June 21
- Free admission to Columbus Zoo: Military Family Free Dayz: June 30 – July 8
- Taste of Powell at the Columbus Zoo: July 26
- Healthy fun with HOOFit at the Columbus Zoo: select Thursdays through September 18
- Dive-In Movies and Zoombezi Bay Summer Nights: select nights June 29 – August 3
- JazZoo Concert Series at the Columbus Zoo: through the summer