PETA Wades Into Zoo’s ‘Name the Otters’ Contest

Published by Michelle Kretzer.

To drum up business, The Brandywine Zoo in Wilmington, Delaware, is holding a contest to name its two newly acquired North American river otters. So PETA is submitting our top choices for names that we think are otterly appropriate: “Crave” and “Freedom.”

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Since the zoo bills itself as an educational facility, our names will help teach visitors that animals belong in nature, not in small enclosures for the rest of their lives. As we pointed out in our letter to zoo officials, “North American river otters are highly mobile and regularly travel up to 26 miles a day. In captivity, their range is measured in feet, not miles. North American river otters are very social and commonly establish large, enduring social groupings. At The Brandywine Zoo, these otters will have only each other for companionship.”

We wrote to the zoo to suggest our names because staff members have already narrowed down the options to three pairs of names that people can choose from—for $1 per vote. Considering how the zoo is already cashing in on the new otters, perhaps another appropriate pair of names would be “Meal” and “Ticket.”

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 Ingrid E. Newkirk

“Almost all of us grew up eating meat, wearing leather, and going to circuses and zoos. We never considered the impact of these actions on the animals involved. For whatever reason, you are now asking the question: Why should animals have rights?” READ MORE

— Ingrid E. Newkirk, PETA President and co-author of Animalkind