Rosamond Gifford Zoo’s 2019 naming theme is “I Love New York”

New baby animals at the Rosamond Gifford Zoo include a Sichuan takin calf named Windsor, baby goats named Troy, Verona and Ithaca and a baby lamb named Mumford.

If this sounds like a theme, it is – the zoo’s animal care staff has chosen “I Love New York” as their guide to naming new arrivals to the zoo this spring and summer. Zookeepers are naming all new animals for New York State towns and cities.

The idea for a naming theme started last year, when keepers used “The Land Before Time” movies to name new arrivals during the zoo’s Dinosaur Invasion! exhibit. That theme resulted in 15 animals named for “Land Before Time” characters – including snow leopard cubs Ozzy and Strut and red panda cubs Loofah and Doofah.

“Our keeper staff had so much fun with the dinosaur theme that they wanted to do another theme this year,” said Zoo Director Ted Fox. “So far they have chosen all Upstate New York names, but depending how many new arrivals we have, we may be naming an animal Manhattan or Brooklyn by summer’s end.”

Besides Windsor the baby takin, the zoo has seven baby San Clemente Island goats with New York place names — Troy, Verona, Savannah, Elmira, Sidney, Ithaca and Hamilton. A male Black Welsh Mountain lamb born last month is called Mumford, and a female born this week is Aurora. The zoo also has a locally endangered Eastern Massasauga rattlesnake named Cicero because she is native to the Cicero Swamp.

Onondaga County Executive Ryan McMahon endorsed the idea to localize zoo animal names and honor the great state of New York. McMahon said, “New York is a vast and diverse state with a rich history. It is great that we can help be part of that story by naming our new baby animals after different locations.” McMahon continued, “I encourage everyone to check out our amazing zoo and the great work that is done there every day!”

The Rosamond Gifford Zoo in Syracuse is an accredited member of the Association of Zoos & Aquariums. Follow the zoo on for updates on zoo animals and events throughout the year.

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