Bonnie + Clyde = 3 capybara babies that need names

COURTESY JASON MCCULLOUGH

Last year, the Toronto High Park Zoo become the unwitting center of a crime scene when Zoo officials reported that not one but two of its residents had escaped. The furry fugitives known to officials as “Bonnie” and Clyde” were members of the South American rodent clan known as Capybara.  For those who have never come across this group name before, Capybara are BIG in the world of rodentia and have been known to reach 200 pounds! (Think GINORMOUS guinea pig.  And yes, before you ask, “ginormous” IS in the dictionary…along with humongous.) Given their conspicuous appearance, it probably comes as no surprise that the two love-struck runaways were eventually captured and returned to the zoo in the late Spring of 2016.  However, nearly a year later, the dynamic duo is making headlines again.  It seems that Bonnie and Clyde are now the proud parents of three baby capybara. Zoo officials have taken suggestions from the public for names for these rodent triplets and will announce the winners very soon!

“Create a Character Contest”: Scholastic Partners with Marlane Kennedy

Marlane Kennedy, children’s book author of such classics as Lucky Dog, Me and the Pumpkin Queen, and The Dog Days of Charlotte Hayes, recently joined forces in a novel contest with Storyworks, an educational resource for teachers, parents, administrators, and librarians.  The competition asked teachers and their students to “create a character” for the award-winning author’s upcoming publication.  Winners of the contest would receive a two-year class subscription to Storyworks and a signed class set of Ms. Kennedy’s book, Disaster Strikes: Earthquake Shock. The name of the contest-winning character will be published in the May/June 2017 issue of Storyworks.

Name some RCMP puppies!

The Royal Canadian Mounted Police (RCMP) are calling all dog lovers and underage name enthusiasts to send in their favorite name for the 13 pups that will soon be joining this year’s RCMP Police Dog Service Training Center. The deadline for name suggestions is the 11th of April 2017. All name suggestions must begin with the letter “K”, and have no more than two syllables. Contestants in the contest must be Canadian residents and 14 years or older. For those of you who still qualify (or have someone in your family who does), a video of the puppy police cadets can be found here (and embedded below). WARNING: These cuties just might steal your heart!

Zooborns.com – Animal Naming Contests

6284573259_eafdfc5375_mThere might be websites that are cuter, but probably not many. At zooborns.com, visitors can catch the latest news (plus adorable photos) of baby animals born in the zoos and aquariums around the world. The site also provides details about special contests (past and present) run by zoo officials looking for new names for their bundles of joy. For example, visitors to the site can read all about the naming of the Asiatic Lion cub triplets, Kali, Sita, and Sonika in Great Britain’s Cotswold Wildlife Park. Some of the most recent fur babies who are looking for a name include a baby Bonobo born in the Jacksonville Zoo (USA), a wildcat kitten born in Chester Zoo (Scotland), and a female European lynx kitten born in Zoo Wroclaw (Poland).