Home News Local News Longhorn steers get their (pen) names

Longhorn steers get their (pen) names

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Spring River Park and Zoo visitors and city staff, including Parks and Recreation Director Jim Burress, right, and zookeepers Aryin Meeks and Scott Sherwood, gather at the Longhorn exhibit Saturday afternoon to learn which names the public chose for the two Longhorn steers that arrived about two months ago. (Lisa Dunlap Photo)

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Otis and Pancho, it is.

After a public naming contest for two new arrivals at the Spring River Park and Zoo, Susan Weston, president of the Friends of Spring River Zoo, which bought the animals, announced Saturday afternoon that Otis had been chosen as the name for the black-and-white steer, while the red-and-white yearling will be called Pancho.

Marge Woods, zoo superintendent, said about 160 people submitted suggestions after the steers arrived in December. Zoo staff then narrowed the possibilities down to five for each one.

Four people voted for Pancho, and one person voted for Otis. All five participants will receive zoo calendars with photos of the zoo’s animals. A naming contest for two new elk is now occurring as a fundraiser for the Friends group, with people able to cast a vote for $1.

Woods said the 1-year-old steers, originally from Texas, have meant a lot to Geronimo, the 19-year-old bull.

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“He lost his pen mate about a few years ago and he was just kind of existing,” she said. “Then right after the other two got here, he started jumping and running around. And they usually hang around him, kind of think of him as dad.”

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