The hippo born earlier this month at the Cincinnati Zoo officially has a name: Fritz!
On TODAY Monday, Jenna Wingate, senior keeper at the Cincinnati Zoo, announced the new name for the calf, saying that Fritz was a natural fit.
The zoo received more than 90,000 name suggestions from the public and had narrowed the list down to two options, Fritz and Ferguson.
After a callout on TODAY asking for people to help name the hippo calf, more than 220,000 people weighed in, with Fritz receiving 56% of the votes.
“We would have been happy with either name, but we really think the name Fritz fits this spunky little guy’s personality,” Cincinnati Zoo’s head hippo keeper Wendy Rice said in a release.
She added that the name is a playful reference to the fact that Fritz’s mom, Bibi, had a surprise pregnancy.
“We also thought it was funny that it was suggested because ‘Fritz’ is here due to Bibi’s birth control being ‘on the fritz,’” Rice said.
Fritz, who was born Aug. 3, has been spending the first days of his life bonding one-on-one with his mom.
In time, he will join the other hippos at the Cincinnati Zoo, including his 5-year-old sister, Fiona.
Fritz weighed about twice as much as Fiona at birth and is strong and healthy, zookeepers said.