I had a post marker for this last month, but am bumping it as a new post since the Zoo's annual fundraising event ZooFest is this Saturday May 11, 2013.
This year San Francisco ZooFest will among other things be the forum for the Naming of the Sumatran Tiger Cub, born February 10, 2013.
It was at a similar event that a deep pocketed Donor paid to casually and comically without any thought, name our precious Hippo, Brian Wilson after one of the Giants ballplayers. Simply awful. Not only did the Hippo come to the Zoo with an name he had his whole life, Tucker, but to be renamed something like this is disrespectful.
SO Mark this post as an Open Letter To Donors.
I don't know if Donors read my blog, but I think its worth the effort to make the post just in case they do or someone who has the ear of one and cares about the name this little one will carry through life.
One news article quoted Zoo Rep Jill Lynch "Eventually she will be given a proper name by the highest-bidder at a Zoo fundraiser." Let's hope "proper" actually plays out in the right sense of the word, which means "belonging characteristically to a species or individual."
To my knowledge the Zoo Director does not give any guidelines for naming rights. She should. In the case of naming this Cub, the guidelines should be:
-No (first and last name combination) names of athletes or other celebrities. Keep in mind she is female. Sumatran Tigers are from Sumatra/Malaysia/Indonesia regions. As well I think noting characteristics of the Cub are nice, such as that she is super spunky and playful!
This all said, when the Cub was born my friends and I who loved our passed Sumatran Tiger Padang, started calling her Little Padang/LP in tribute. Padang was her Aunt, as well as the oldest Tiger of any species in a North American Zoo. We thought and still think it would be an awesome tribute.
BUT I've also got some other suggestions. One in particular I'm fond of and think the Zoo would actually love, because its a combination of the two names the Mother and Father were renamed. The Cubs Mother Skylar was renamed "Leanne" and her Father Taymor was renamed "Larry".
In my research, I found the name Leela. The name is of Sanskrit origin, which is the language Malay is derived from. Leela means divine play/amusement. Reading more about it, it doesn't directly mean playful, but yet the grand scheme of god's play, which is life. I personally think its perfect.
More name suggestions.
Jasmine - The official Flower of Indonesia is Melati. This is beautiful, but there are two other Tigers named Melati that I know of. Melati means Jasmine Flower.
Jambi - This name was offered by my friend Lee. It is the name of the City in Indonesia, that leads to the Rainforest the Sumatran Tigers live.
Melayu - Little hard rolling off the tongue, but wondeful as it is the name of an ancient Kingdom.
Caspia - A play on the name of the now extinct species, the Caspian Tiger.
Scarlette - No connection to origin of the Sumatran Tiger, but a nice name that has a fiery flare for our little spunky girl :)
Ok, I think I've done more work compiling a list of great contenders for a wonderful name for this little Cubbie Girl, than the person who will probably write the check. Let's hope that I'm wrong and the high-bidder gives it some thought and comes up with something wonderful, or chooses from this list of already researched suggestions.
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Contact the San Francisco Zoo Director Tanya Peterson
if you want your voice heard.