Zoo considers options for memorializing boy who died after visiting baby elephant
Wed, 15 Jun 2011 12:24:49 GMT —
As the Toledo Zoo continues to consider baby names for an elephant born to mother Renee last week, the family of the boy who died after visiting the newborn , says that it supports the Zoo, even if officials decide not to name the elephant after Nicholas Allore .
The zoo unveiled the "Name the Baby Elephant" contest on Monday, asking voters to choose from a list of three names: "Lucas," in honor of voters in Lucas County who have supported the zoo. "Chuck," recognizing the woodchuck that was the first animal donated to the zoo. And, "Iain" for African elephant conservationist Iain Douglas-Hamilton.
At the same time to zoo began asking for votes on its website, community members in northwest Ohio and southeast Michigan began an online push for a different name choice, "Nick" or "Nicholas."
Lisa Willis, Allore's aunt, said the family would like to see the zoo honor the 6-year-old Michigan boy in some way. Willis said she respects and loves the zoo, regardless of its decision on the elephant naming.
Zoo officials said on Tuesday, "We feel it's important to be respectful of Nicholas's parents at an extremely difficult time. We've reached out to them to express our deep sympathy and hope to have a conversation later in the week about a fitting way to memorialize Nicholas."
A day earlier, the zoo released a statement saying they were working to come up with a fitting tribute to Nicholas and that they would share more information with the community at the appropriate time.
What do you think the zoo should do? Should they memorialize Nicholas Allore by naming their new baby elephant after him? What else could they do in this situation? Share your thoughts below and on WNWO's Facebook fan page . We want to hear from you!