April 13, 2016 1:15PM
Pittsburg State University is the official sponsor of the Fort Worth Zoo’s newest baby gorilla, Augustus. Or “Gus” for short.
As a show of appreciation for the university’s role in helping the zoo name its new western lowland gorilla, the zoo sponsored Gus in the university’s name. The symbolic adoption, which lasts for one year, comes just weeks after Pitt State and its online community got involved with the zoo’s social media naming campaign.
Earlier this year, the zoo, seeking community input on the new gorilla’s name, published a poll on its social media accounts. Since “Gus” was one of the options, Pittsburg State shared the poll on its social media accounts and encouraged its followers to vote for “Gus.” The name won by a wide margin.
“The students, faculty and alumni of Pittsburg State have responded so enthusiastically to the birth and naming of our new gorilla, Gus, so sending the adoption to the university was just a small token of our appreciation,” said Alli Haltom, public relations coordinator for the Fort Worth Zoo.
Haltom said symbolic adoptions help provide care for the animals at the zoo.
“Animals adoptions are one more way our guests get to experience and support the zoo,” she said. “All adoption money goes to the care and feeding of our animals, and in return the ‘parent’ receives great information about the animal. Although – obviously – the animal remains at the zoo, the adopter receives a photo and plush as keepsakes.”
Pittsburg State President Steve Scott said he and the entire Pitt State community are proud to “adopt” baby Gus.
“Adopting baby Gus in the university’s name is an incredible gesture by the Fort Worth Zoo,” Scott said. “It was so much fun watching our social media community get involved with the naming campaign and show its overwhelming support for the Gus name. We, of course, are very proud of our own Gus Gorilla, and now we also wrap our arms around the newest Gus gorilla in Fort Worth.”
Many Pitt State students and alumni have made the trip to the Fort Worth Zoo to say hello to baby Gus.
“As soon I heard that the baby gorilla’s name was Gus, I just knew I had to go down there to visit,” said senior Cale Peterson. “He’s just so adorable, and having the name Gus makes him even more special to us at Pitt State. We went down over Spring Break to see him, and it was a neat feeling to see him and know we had a role in giving him his name.”
The zoo announced the baby’s name in a special video last month. That video can be viewed at https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=OzFNvKVGvEI. The zoo’s press release announcing the name is available at https://www.fortworthzoo.org/fort-worth-zoo-announces-winning-male-baby-gorilla-name.