Columbus Zoo and Aquarium wants your help naming their manatee calf

(Courtesy: Columbus Zoo and Aquarium)

The Columbus Zoo and Aquarium is asking for the public's help naming their new manatee calf.

The female manatee calf arrived in Columbus in April. She was rescued, along with her mother, on February 8, 2018 off the coast of Florida.

The Zoo says that when the pair were discovered, the calf was showing signs of cold stress, and the calf's mother was "negatively buoyant." Sadly, just two days after the rescue, the calf's mother passed away from her injuries, leaving the calf an orphan.

The calf was then transported to SeaWorld Orlando, where she was able to build up strength. Once she was stabilized, she and a young male calf named Heavy Falcon were transferred to the Columbus Zoo to continue their rehabilitation journeys. Heavy Falcon is also an orphan, and his name is a nod to the SpaceX rocket launch that took place on February 6, 2018 - the same day he was rescued.

The Zoo has narrowed down four options for the calf's name. All of which carry important significance to the great state of Ohio.


This name is a nod to "Carmen Ohio," which is the Alma mater of The Ohio State University. The song means "Song of Ohio" in Latin, is the oldest school song still used by the university. The song highlights - through "time and change" - the strong bonds of friendship and university.


The Columbus Zoo and Aquarium is nestled along the Scioto River. The river stretches a total of 231 miles in length, and early settlers often used the river for transportation. More recently, the river has underwent restoration efforts to reduce pollution and result in healthier water for humans and wildlife. The Zoo says, "This connection is reminder of how actions we take in Ohio can make a positive impact for the future of manatees and their habitats."


According to the Zoo, "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."


"Hang on Sloopy," was written in 1965 by the McCoys. It's the official rock song of the state of Ohio and the only state to have an official rock song.

The naming opportunity is presented by Kroger and begins today, June 8. The naming opportunity will run until June 22. Fans can vote for a single name within a 24-hour period on the Zoo's website.

The name will be revealed don the Zoo's social media accounts and website on June 25.

The Zoo's announcement coincides with World Oceans Day, which the Zoo says "focuses on raising awareness about preserving and protecting the vital ecosystem that benefits both humans and wildlife."

Both the female calf and Heavy Falcon are temporarily living at the Columbus Zoo, as part of the Manatee Rescue and Rehabilitation Partnership (MRP), the Zoo serves as a second-stage rehabilitation facility and provides a temporary home for the manatees until their eventual releases back to the Florida waters.

To vote for your favorite name, visit the Columbus Zoo and Aquarium's website:

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