WASHINGTON — A circus-like animal will be named after a Washington zoo’s legendary mascot, a decision that will mark the end of the legendary circus tradition and the beginning of the new era of animal tourism in the nation’s capital.
The giant gorilla, named Rocky, will be one of two mascots at the Washington Zoo, which also will have an African lion and a monkey named Rocky the Magician.
He was named for Rocky, the only gorilla in the zoo at the time.
The zoo will begin holding regular animal performances on Friday with performances starting Saturday at 6:30 p.m. to coincide with the zoo-wide opening of the Biggestgest Loser, a new competition in which competitors compete to become America’s tallest man.
The new mascot will be made of a special blend of clay and wood that will be heated at the zoo to simulate the heat of the real circus.
He will stand about 12 feet tall with a 30-foot body.
He has an impressive beard that grows out of his shoulders.
He wears a hat that looks like a hat.
The new mascot’s costume will be a blue T-shirt, a white shirt and jeans.
The gorilla will also have a small voice in the program, which will be produced by the Animal Care Center at the Smithsonian Institution.
The Animal Care and Control Center is a nonprofit organization that trains and supports animal caretakers to help keep animals healthy.
“We want to honor the history of the zoo and the gorilla, and make the gorilla the symbol of the institution,” said Sarah Koehler, executive director of the Zoo.
The project was started last year and was originally to include a mascot named Kaitlyn.
Kaitlin was named after Kaitie, the gorilla that lives at the Cincinnati Zoo.
“When I was a child, I wanted to go to the zoo,” said Koehlers mother, Jennifer Koehnert.
“I knew I wanted Rocky to be there.”
The gorilla’s name was selected by the animal care center because he was the only animal in the animal kingdom who was known to scare humans and they wanted a name that would capture the power of the animal.
“It was a fun challenge,” said Jennifer Kuehnert, who is also a member of the Center for Zoo and Wildlife Studies.
“We are so grateful to the animal control center and the zoo for putting their time, energy and money into this project.”
The name will be the first official one of the gorilla since the animal was removed from the Washington State Capitol in 2004 to make way for the creation of the Capitol Zoo, a zoo that is owned by the U.S. Capitol Police.