By Kayla Jardine/Joe Cingrana
This orphaned manatee who arrived at the Columbus Zoo and Aquarium in April for rehabilitation got a new home… and finally her own name!
Ohio's zoo had a contest to name the rescued calf; the people have spoken and the little manatee is now known as Carmen. The name comes from Ohio State University’s alma mater, "Carmen Ohio" - meaning "Song of Ohio" in Latin.
All of the name options given to the public for review were important to the state of Ohio, as well as Ohio’s link to preserving and protecting aquatic ecosystems. Carmen received 2,376 votes, followed by Sloopy 1,944 votes, Trillium 1,300 votes, and Scioto with 681 votes -- out of a total of 6,301 votes representing 22 countries.
Columbus Zoo President/CEO Tom Stalf said in a statement that "Carmen is a very fitting name as she has already won the hearts of our animal care team members. We are proud to be able to offer assistance to this young manatee so she can receive a second chance at life.”
The zoo will continue to help raise and rehabilitate Carmen until she’s ready to be released back into the Florida waters to make new friends.