April 21, 2009

9,000 enter elephant naming contest

Columbus Zoo said more than 9,000 people have sent in suggestions for the Ohio attraction's Name the Baby Elephant Contest.

The zoo said officials will whittle the suggestions for the elephant born at the zoo March 27 down to three finalists that the public will be able to vote for on the zoo's Web site from Saturday to May 6, The Columbus Dispatch reported Tuesday.

Officials said suggestions from the public include Barack, Obama, Dumbo, Peanut and Jack -- a reference to famed zookeeper and Columbus native Jack Hanna.

The zoo said more unconventional suggestions include Bandhu, Sanskrit for brother, and Xerxes, an ancient Persian king. Officials said many children have suggested the name Phineas as a reference to a character on popular Disney Channel cartoon Phineas and Ferb.

The winning name is to be announced May 10.