Thursday, May 30, 2013

Tiger Cub Naming Finale - Because I Just Can't Help Myself

Yes I have more thoughts on this.

I wasn't going to write another post about the Tiger Cub Naming but there were things I read that I thought were worth posting about as well as commentating about.

Right after the Name was announced there were many news articles written.  The one I read was on  I immediately wrote my blog post about it:

As curious as the Zoo starting to insert the history behind the (RE)names of the Cubs parents in press releases after I posted about my issue with how Animals get their Names, another article surfaced on sfappeal, noting a conversation with the high bidder in the Tiger Cub naming rights auction, in a (seeming?) defence of her choice to use her own name.  

"In a Facebook message sent to the Appeal (presumably in response to our earlier report on her purchase), Atherton resident Manus said “My children named the Baby Tiger Jillian so one day they could take their kids to see ‘Grandma’s Tiger.’”

Before I write anything further, I want to note that its not my intention to "hate" on this lady personally.   She is obviously decent enough to have donated $47k  to not only name her but (I) assume that the money will go towards her care.  

That said, starting with the quote.  Part of my issue with how the Animals get their names and re-names, is that I feel there is no thought that goes into it.  Names are given on a whim and without the person even seeing the Animal first.  As well I believe that most of the people that are Zoo supporters with their check books have no clue what the Zoo or any Zoo is about, and are certainly not regular Visitors.  Don't get me wrong, their money is needed, but I wish they were more involved because money plus knowledge would make the Zoo move into the direction of being all it can be.  

So, in this case, with Jillian Manus noting that her children want to bring their Kids to see Grandma's Tiger, just proves my thoughts right.  Many monetary supporters of the Zoo have no clue.  This Tiger Cub is not going to live at the San Francisco Zoo its whole life.  We will be lucky to see her turn one year old before she's shipped off to another Zoo for breeding purposes.  So, giving her a name that will go on record in the Studbook and she will carry for life, should be something well thought out and fitting, aka about the Animal not the Donor. Jillian is a fine name, but much like Martha and Larry, in my opinion, it is not a name that fits a Tiger.  Thankfully Martha and Larry have other names on record.   

It could be worse, she could be carrying the name Bicka.

“I wanted to name her Bicka after my four children,” Manus said. But her children didn’t think Bicka – a mashup of Brock, Nick, Blake and Amanda – was quite right.
“We all looked at each other and went, ‘There has to be a better idea,’ ” said Nick Salzman, Manus’ 18-year-old son.
Thank you Nick Salzman.   Seriously, Bicka?  Would she even name her kid that?  
And still worse, allegedly the Keepers were calling her LT short for Little Tanya after the Zoo Director Tanya Peterson.  Even more thankful that the Director didn't bid herself.   ... I will continue to call this sweet little girl LP (Little Padang)  as I have from the moment I heard she was born.
This all said, at least this precious Cubbie now has a name and its not after the Director or a Ballplayer.  I hope that Jillian Manus and her family visit the Cub often and did not just come out for the Media Event.  It would be wonderful for her and her Kids to start their own blog or Facebook Page for Little Jillian and post photos from their Visits to see her as she grows up.
Some reading this post might not agree with my opinions and that is fine.   I was inspired to write this post by comments on another post.    I don't think many go back and read the comments, which is unfortunate because there is always good information and well thought out words, by others who care about the Zoo and the Animals who live there.
*hazelMay 16, 2013 at 4:55 PM
it's a shame that ms manus has decided to be a narcissist and name the tiger cub after herself. she could have stepped up and given the cub a name it deserves - something descriptive from its native country would have been appropriate and educational - and she would have set a wonderful example to her children and the rest of san francisco. and shame on the zoo for not giving her some names to choose from and using this tiny cub in this way. ... the good news is the cub still has a chance at a better name - once it grows up and moves to another zoo i'm sure they'll have a naming contest as well. the name jillian will long be forgotten. as for the 47k, it will probably be used to benefit children instead of animals. i hope the zoo surprises everyone and uses it to improve animal exhibits!
*AnonymousMay 16, 2013 at 8:59 PM
I'm delighted the Zoo got $47,000. I hope they use it to benefit the animals. As for Jillian, I think it is hilarious someone has that much ego. If I didn't know where it came from I would think it was a cute name. Oh well, I never adjusted to Barney for Ike Ozo the (then) little gorills either.
*lee (a tigers best friend)May 18, 2013 at 4:50 PM
I think that these donors should choose names of the countries these animals come from. I have always loved that the lions had African names. Yes, when she is sent to yet another zoo after being taken too soon from Leanne like her boys were, she will again have a name change. And I might add that I tire of the name changes too. The animals get used to one name and then have to respond to another name. My idea is let the donor give a name befitting and then just let the zoo put a plaque up. 

I will add in (part) my own reply to the last comment from Lee:
I too love the names of origin. Some are lucky to have gotten those kind of names. But, there are some names that are considered common that I do think are fine, if they fit. Look at our precious Tony, it fit him. Although I do think he also had another name that I can't remember now or if it was his birth name or a rename. Elly is another one, who I think has a fitting name. 

The first blog I did was Zoo related.    It was because I had come into a position in my life where I was able to learn about the Animals on an individual basis.  I became overwhelmingly endeared to them, that I wanted to share what I had learned.  My efforts were fueled my the wake of the Tatiana tragedy and the bad view people had of the Zoo.  I felt if I could endear people to the Animals, they would be endeared to the Zoo.  I thought the idea was a win-win.  I made many efforts in the form of suggestions, ideas, ect.  and presented them to the Director.  My history with the Zoo and Director has had its highs and lows, which I'm not going to get into here, its all been documented on my various blogs.
The purpose of bringing this up is, the Zoo has never embraced educating Visitors about the Animals as individuals.  The only time they do so is when it benefits them either with Media attention or with Monetary incentive.

Photos like this one should be at all the Animals homes and include personal history about them.  Celebrate the Animals and their lives daily, not just when you think someone is looking.

I love seeing this because the Cub makes me smile
and having something to identify her personally
is a good thing :)

I apologize if this post is wacky in color, text and spacing in consistency.  With all the linking and such, it saved that way.


  1. Lee (a tigers best friend)June 2, 2013 at 1:15 PM

    I agree with you 100% on the naming. One thing that really bugged me was "grandma's tiger", it's not her tiger. It's just the name. I wonder also how the name bidding is actually presented to the donors. Are they led down a merry path believing this will always be the name and that they somehow own the tiger? Just throwing that out there. A lot goes on with these alcohol fueled donor parties.... Jillian is a pretty name, she's a pretty tiger, just wished it was a sumatran name. I am glad it wasnt bicka !!! Again, as I have mentioned in the past, I believe proper names should be given and kept. The animals will be trained to respond to the same name always. We arent talking kittens, we are talking red alert animals and the importance of them always keeping the names they are trained to respond to for safety purposes to say the least. I am sure that a couple years from now when Jillian is transferred to another zoo, she will again be given a different name. I have nothing against this donor, and it's a pretty name. I am thankful the zoo gets this wonderful donation of 47k and I hope that the money goes to a proper place at the zoo and not on a teeter totter on the playground.

  2. @Lee- Thank you for your comment. ... I wasn't bothered by them thinking its their Tiger, they are Kids and probably weren't even corrected. Sadly, you can probably buy a Tiger roadside in some States for less. THAT should actually be something a news story should have picked up and used this opportunity for awareness about the plight of Tigers being sold as Pets. I'll blog about it on my new Animal blog. In regards to how these auctions are presented who knows. I have written before that I thought there should be some guidelines for naming, but I doubt there is much information provided. The Zoo in general doesn't provide much info to Visitors, certainly not about behavior, so not sure it woudl be any different as the almightly dollar is at stake. I'm not even sure when the ZooMobile goes to Schools and Events they even teach Kids/People about Animal Respect, because I sure don't see it at the Zoo or the Parks. .. You make a very good point about training in regard to emergency necessities. The Zoo is screwing up the ANimals they have renamed by not using their given names behind the scenes.


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