BOSTON – Last week was a very sad week for the Franklin Park Zoo as officials, residents, and animals alike all mourned the loss of the 14-year-old white tiger named Luther.
However, Franklin and its animals embody the philosophy of The Lion King by showing that the "circle of life" is still alive and strong because even though Luther died, new generations of animals are still coming up in the zoo (which is, fortunately, one that has a strong reputation for conducting animal welfare), like one certain baby red panda which was born in July and continues to grow.
Now, the baby red panda is just four days away from celebrating its three-month birthday and it still does not have a name! The animal has absolutely adorable and a perfect showcase of the majesty of wildlife all around the world. But that doesn't mean that it does not need a name! Posted on the official Facebook page for the Franklin Park Zoo, there is an open poll about what the baby red panda's name should be, and they are asking the public to vote!
According to Zoo New England's president, John Linehan, the baby red panda will debut to the public at some point during the fall, but he definitely needs a name first. The mother of the panda's name is Fia and she has given birth to two cubs and has been taking excellent care of them. But what name would sound good with Fia and her mate, Hoppy?
Fortunately, Franklin Park Zoo has provided two options already, the winner of which will be announced on Friday. One choice is Gimli, a name which comes from the popular red-headed character in J.R.R. Tolkien's "Middle-earth" series. The other choice is Everest, which of course derives from the world's tallest peak.
Both names sound great, but as a major fan of The Lord of the Rings, I'm definitely partial to Gimli.