Powell, OH – The new reticulated python at the Columbus Zoo and Aquarium had a famous mother, Fluffy, and is now named after the world’s most famous “zookeeper”, Jack Hanna.
The naming contest was launched on Nov. 30, 2010 and thousands of names were submitted on the Zoo’s Facebook page by the Dec. 7th deadline. The list included 1,248 original names which were narrowed down by Zoo staff to five finalists – Buffy, Fuzzy, Hanna, Nagini (from Harry Potter) and Sissy. When these names were posted on Facebook on Dec. 10th, more than 500 people voted for their favorite within the first 20 minutes.
The contest ended at midnight on Dec. 16th and the name Hanna barely slithered past the votes for Fuzzy. The final tally was:
Hanna 816 votes
Fuzzy 794 votes
Nagini 356 votes
Buffy 290 votes
Sissy 57 votes
The winning name was first submitted by Jenny Bronson of Dublin, Ohio and Kristin Cook of Westerville, Ohio. They are each receiving four Gold Memberships to the Columbus Zoo and Aquarium which includes the 2011 Zoombezi Bay season.
“Sometimes I get all wrapped up in my work”, said Director Emeritus Jack Hanna, “but this news really chokes me up. Seriously, thanks to everyone who participated and the more than 55,500 people who follow the Zoo on Facebook. We are happy to be able to bring this wonderful new snake to our community.”
Hanna (the snake) arrived at the Columbus Zoo on Nov. 16, 2010 after the unexpected death of her mother, Fluffy, on Oct. 15, 2010 due to a mass on her ovary. Hanna hatched in 1998 and is currently about 200 pounds and 18-feet in length. Her famous mother was 300 pounds and 24-feet long and held the title of longest snake by Guinness World Records.
Hanna can be seen in her mother’s former habitat in the Asia Quest region of the Zoo including each evening during Wildlights.
Columbus Zoo and Aquarium is open 363 days of the year. General admission is $12.99 for adults, $7.99 for children ages 2 to 9 and seniors 60+. Children under 2 and Columbus Zoo members are free. The Zoo was named the #1 Zoo in America by USA Travel Guide and is accredited by the Association of Zoos and Aquariums (AZA.) For more information and to purchase advance Zoo admission tickets, visit www.columbuszoo.org.