Point Defiance Soliciting Votes for Names of New Muskox Calf


Staff at Point Defiance Zoo and Aquarium have chosen four possible names for a recently born male muskox calf, and they need the public’s help in choosing which one would best fit the four-legged, 52-pound rascal. 

The park’s care team confirmed the sex of the animal on Friday, June 26, according to a park news release. 

“We’d been suspecting that for a few days, after he began some head-butting behaviors,” keeper Russell Pharr said. “That’s a typical instinct for male muskoxen, as later they’ll have to show their dominance for breeding.” 

Voting will take place online through July 8 and can be found at this link: https://www.surveymonkey.com/r/MuskoxCalf. 

The four names up for debate are Trebek, after legendary “Jeopardy!” host Alex Trebek; Ollie, after children’s game “Olly olly oxen free;” Capra, a variation on the scientific name for muskox family; and Mak, short for “Oomingmak,” the Iñupiaq name for muskox. 

The calf had his first day in the Arctic Tundra area with his mother on Monday, June 29. 

“He appears quite healthy,” head veterinarian Dr. Karen Wold said. “The veterinary team has been observing him regularly and he is very active and inquisitive, investigating his environment and starting to run around and demonstrate his spunky personality.” 


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