August 14, 2008

Name Rules Are Eased

n Erie, Pa.

Officials at the Erie Zoo say one of their new Amur tigers is too shy to explore a new $500,000 exhibit.

Nikki, a 370-pound male tiger, has refused to come out of his den into the public exhibit since it opened two months ago.

"He pokes his head out occasionally, but that's about it," said Scott Mitchell, the zoo's chief executive.

Anna, a 300-pound female, regularly prowls the new space. The gate to Nikki's den is closed when Anna is there because they have yet to meet. For now, officials are hoping the scent she leaves behind during her visits will entice Nikki into exploring the new exhibit alone.

Once he becomes used to the exhibit - and to Anna - zoo officials will put both tigers on display at the same time.

Amur tigers are an endangered species, and zoo officials are hoping Nikki and Anna will mate. Ten-year-old Anna came from the Beardsley Zoo in Bridgeport, Conn., while Nikki, 5, came from the Brookfield Zoo near Chicago.

* Stockholm, Sweden

Swedish authorities say parents can now name their newborns "Budweiser" or "Metallica" if they so wish.

For decades, Swedish tax authorities had banned parents from naming their children after fast food chains, rock bands or their favorite brand of beer.

But tax authority spokesman Lars Tegenfeldt says the guidelines have been relaxed. He says "there is nothing negative about a name like Coca-Cola or McDonald's today. In the 1970s, maybe it was."

Still, authorities are drawing the line at giving children swear words for names. And forget about naming your child God, Allah or Devil.

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