No. 1: Facebook fans “like” Firefly for Fireball’s first calf
It’s official, she’s a daddy’s girl! Fireball, the 8-year-old southern white rhinoceros at the Wilds, became a father for the first time on January 8, 2011 and the female calf has been named Firefly by the Wilds’ Facebook fans.
The Wilds received more than 800 votes from fans for their favorite name for the rhino calf. Fans submitted more than 700 name suggestions from the contest kickoff on April 9th through the April 17th submission deadline. The list included 751 name suggestions that were narrowed down by the Wilds’ staff to three finalists – Firefly, Sparks and Spit Fire.
These names were posted to Facebook on April 21st and fans had until midnight on April 24th to “like” their favorite name. The final tally was:
Spit Fire 134
“The Animal Management staff enjoyed going through the list of suggested names,” said Dan Beetem, Director of Animal Management at the Wilds. “This calf is the very first offspring for the sire, Fireball, and we are happy that the choice reflects her father’s name.”
The winning name was first submitted by Jason Carr. Jason will be receiving a one-year family membership to the Wilds, which admits up to two primary named adults in the same household plus either dependent children or grandchildren up to age 21.
“I loved visiting the Wilds as a kid and can’t wait to take my family,” Carr said.
Firefly is the eighth southern white rhino born at the conservation center located in southeast Ohio. She is the fourth offspring for Julie, the 17-year-old dam and the first for Fireball, the 8-year-old sire who came to the Wilds in 2008 as part of the Species Survival Plan (SSP) coordinated by the Association of Zoos and Aquariums (AZA).
Firefly can be visited at the Wilds on Saturdays and Sundays in May and daily from June through August from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m.