Which Zoo Animal Has the Best Name?

Chris Gaitten
Febreze the skunk

Save for the most famous animals—the Colos and Noras—most of the critters at the Columbus Zoo and Aquarium are anonymous. Visitors come to see the seals, the snakes, the giraffes, the cheetahs—no single animal in particular. But many have names, and the zoo’s curators get pretty creative with their references. There are goats named for fonts (Windsong, Franklin Gothic), gazelles christened after “Anchorman” characters (Veronica Corningstone, Baxter) and African black-footed penguins inexplicably named for fish (like Barracuda, aka Barry).

Here are some of the zoo’s best and most bizarre, arranged in a bracket to determine the top dog (or turtle or bird) in honor of the NCAA basketball tournament and the internet’s annual Name of the Year contest (2018’s winner: a Canadian hockey player named Jimbob Ghostkeeper). Magazine staffers voted for their favorite animal names during a three-round showdown, and a winner was crowned.

See the results—and the winner—here.

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