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What’s in a Name?

August 23, 2010

Choosing a name for an animal is more important than you might think. The animals you meet at any of parks are considered Animal Ambassadors. Not only are they ambassadors for Busch Gardens, but they are ambassadors for their species. We want to choose a name that means something, will resonate with our guests and could possibly be an education tool as well.

The process in choosing their name can vary. Even before a new animal arrives, we begin learning about their natural history. This research usually leads to some bright ideas about possible names. Most of the time, we will submit the names to our Zoological Manager and he helps to make the final decision. Last summer we even had a contest posted for our guests to help choose names for our new Gray Wolf pups. Below are just some examples of animals you might meet at Busch Gardens in Williamsburg.

Patrick the Scottish Blackface sheep

Patrick was born on St. Patrick’s Day this year. We really didn’t have a choice, did we?

Otus the Eastern Screech Owl

When Otus came to live at Busch Gardens the scientific name for the Eastern Screech Owl was Otus asio. It has since changed to Megascops asio.

Carumbe the Red-footed Tortoise

The word carumbe is the Amazonian Tupí word for male tortoises. This is the native language where you would find the red-footed tortoise.

Roca the Cuban Rock Iguana

Roca is a Spanish word meaning rock. These iguanas are commonly found on rocky coastal areas on Cuba.

Next time you visit us at Busch Gardens come introduce yourselves to the animals.

Animal Trainer at Busch Gardens

One Comment leave one →
  1. Diane Black permalink
    August 23, 2010 4:12 pm

    Very interesting! I always enjoy learning the names of the animals we see and how they got their names.

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