After receiving more than three hundred name ideas during the Bobcat Naming Contest held earlier this spring, the Micke Grove Zoo staff is excited to announce the winning name of its young male bobcat: “Nitro.”

The name was suggested by Hannah Schneider, age 5, whose parents and younger sister enjoyed a private after-hours dinner hosted by the Micke Grove Zoological Society at the Zoo on June 1. Hannah also received a bobcat puppet and personalized certificate, and the family received a complimentary one year membership to the Zoo.

BC1“Hannah had been brainstorming names for a whole week,” shared Beth Schneider, Hannah’s mother and long-time supporter of the Zoo. “Then one night we went for a walk and she just turned to me and said ‘What about Nitro?’ I told her I loved it, and so we submitted the idea.” In the world of organic chemistry, nitro compounds are those that contain a lot of energy and often result in major explosions. This chemical behavior seems to describe the young male bobcat perfectly: his temperament is highly energetic and he seems to explode off the ground into a twenty foot vertical jump, often from a complete stand still.

BC“Nitro” joined the Micke Grove Zoo collection in January 2014 and has been a popular animal ever since. Visitors enjoy seeing the active cat stalk wild squirrels and birds parading outside of his enclosure or relaxing in his hammock. Visitors attending the Education Department’s “Zoo After Dark” program also get to see the cat in a different light, watching him engage with his enrichment toys and running laps around his exhibit in the twilight hours. Zoo staff chose Hannah’s suggestion from a long list of ideas, including over fifty submissions of “Bob” and twenty submissions of “Rufus,” with the latter likely stemming from the bobcat’s scientific name Lynx rufus. While this particular naming contest is over, the Zoo expects to host naming opportunities for other animals in the future. Individuals that would like to donate funds in order to name an animal are encouraged to contact the Micke Grove Zoological Society at (209) 331-2010 or mgzs@mgzoo.com.


11793 N. Micke Grove Rd.
Lodi, (209) 953-8840

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