People on the internet are smiling today — at least Game of Thrones fans are — after it was revealed that one of the Malayan tiger cubs at Chaffee Zoo has the same name as a beloved Game of Thrones character: Arya. The name was one of several the zoo put up for a vote to the public. Not surprisingly, it got the most votes at 1,690. Several people on Facebook said they voted for the name because they love the character.
But it wasn’t intentional. Chaffee Zoo assistant curator Lyn Myers said they chose common Indonesian names and the 7-week-old cubs aren’t named after any characters. Arya means warrior or truthful — which is pretty fitting. For those not familiar with the wildy popular books by George R.R. Martin or the HBO series of the same, Arya Stark is a spunky character who is 9 years old in the first book. Unlike her princess sister, she’s a tomboy who loves swordplay. She spends much of the series fighting to get reconnected with her family — like a warrior would.
(Tiger photo — we’re not sure which of the four cubs this is — by Craig Kohlruss. Arya photo by Nick Briggs.)
The Fresno Chaffee Zoo is now home to four teeny tiny Malayan tiger cubs. This is a big deal because these tigers are rare. There’s only 500 in the wild. But it’s also a big deal because they are stinkin’ cute. Check out this video of the four cubs nursing. The little guy on the bottom looks like he’s getting a tad frustrated. They won’t be on display to the public for several more weeks. You can read the full story here.
This video made me squeal out loud, so of course I had to share it with those of you who might be having a cranky Monday. A new baby giraffe was born at the Chaffee Zoo last week. More on that here. The video features the less-than-week old giraffe (who didn’t have a name yet) getting under-the-chin licks and snuffling at Bee photographer Mark Crosse’s camera. The up-close-and-personal part is at the end.
TOO CUTE: Fresno’s Chaffee Zoo opens its new exhibit featuring African spotted-neck river otters, Bee photog Mark Crosse reports. The zoo is open during Easter weekend. Don’t fantasize about taking one home, however. These little guys have teeth. [Bee gallery]
OPEN ALASKA MOUTH, INSERT MUKLUK-PROTECTED FOOT: The nation’s latest “stupid comment by a politician” scandal has a local connection. After Congressman Don Young of Alaska called Hispanic migrant workers “wetbacks,” he explains he “used a term that was commonly used during my days growing up on a farm in central California.” [Bee]
STANDING ROOM ONLY: It seems the Elbow Room’s “Sunday Sizzle” afternoon events are so popular that the restaurant will stop taking Sunday reservations for music on the patio starting April 6 because of no-shows, open places at tables, etc. That, in turn, irritates many long-time customers who don’t want to take a chance on getting in under the new no-reservations policy. How irritated? Local entertainer Jim Lyons wrote an entire manifesto about the new policy, including a delineation of “Elbow Room responsibilities” and “Patron responsibilities.” Don’t get between an Elbow Room regular and his Sunday afternoon. (Strange: There was a robust post with lots of customer comments about the matter going on about the issue on the Elbow Room’s Facebook page last night, but I can’t find it today.) [MySpace]
1. ROLL WITH THE ZOMBIES
Saturday is Fresno’s (now) annual Zombie Pub Crawl in the Tower District. You can get dressed up, hang out with a bunch of zombies and crawl from one Tower bar to the next in search of braiiiiiiiins booze. Some places, such as Babylon as you’ll see below, have their own complementing zombie events. Read more about the zombie craze here.
ZOOFARI: Another popular annual event is Chaffee Zoo’s Ice Cream Zoofari. It’s a cool relief considering the expected temperatures. It’s happening Saturday night after the zoo closes and includes all you-can-eat ice cream, sherbet and frozen yogurt. More info here. This one sells out, so hurry if you want tickets.
1. PLAY BALL!
Ahhh, yeah. It’s baseball timein downtown Fresno again. The Fresno Grizzlies open their home season with a weekend series against Tacoma — with games tonight, Saturday night and Sunday afternoon. For tonight, the Grizzlies are encouraging people to wear orange. I’m encouraging you to remember a sweater and umbrella. Ticket info here. If you haven’t already, read about the carnival the Grizzlies added this year.
It’s a Leap Year! In honor of this event, we would like to see you or your family’s impersonation of a leap year. Upload your photos to our FB wall for the chance to win a prize! The contest will end at midnight on Wednesday, February 29. Be creative and get ‘hoppin’!
A hearty thank you to everyone who helped us put together another fun Fresno Tweetup on Saturday night at Chaffee Zoo. It was our second Fresno Tweetup Goes Wild, but we also could have called it Fresno Tweetup Gets Sweaty. Heat aside, everybody seemed to have a great time, whether it was running around the zoo for our scavenger hunt, checking out Fierce Creatures playing in the Winged Wonders Amphitheatre or hopping in the photo booth.
We owe a big shout-out to Bee photog Craig Kohlruss for setting up the photo booth. FYI: You can hire him to bring the fun to your event. Get more details at photoboothfresno.com. If you want one of the pics, you can get them on our our Facebook page. Thanks also to our Scribble king, SW Parra, for his great caricatures.
We’re a little bit more than 24 hours away from this year’s Fresno Tweetup Goes Wild 2, another of our local Twitter gatherings, this time invading Fresno Chaffee Zoo for an evening of animals, games, prizes, live music, beer and more.
We’ve already told you that Fierce Creatures are playing — and trust me, they’re worth the $5 admission price all by themselves. We’ve also got a number of prizes that are worth showing up for:
There’s still time RSVP to @FresnoZoo and/or @FresnoBeehive on Twitter. Just let us know you’re coming and you’ll be on the list. Not on Twitter? No problem. Fresno Tweeps can bring non-Twitter users with them and they get the same $5 ticket price. And remember, kids under 10 are free with adult admission.
Got questions about how everything works tomorrow? Read the FAQ below:
There’s something just so fitting about Fierce Creatures playing at the zoo, isn’t there?
Wanna go? You still have time to RSVP on Twitter to @FresnoZoo and/or @FresnoBeehive. Just let us know you’re coming and you’ll be on the list. It costs $5 to get in to this excusive after-hours party with beer, games, prizes and, of course, Fierce Creatures. More info here.
Not on Twitter? No problem. Fresno Tweeps can bring non-Twitter users with them and they get the same $5 ticket price. Or just sign up and get an account. Be sure to follow @FresnoZoo, @FresnoBeehive and @FierceCreatures.
1. GO TO THE BEACH … IN DOWNTOWN FRESNO
I’m utterly fascinated by this weekend’s Summer Splash Beach Party outside Club One Casino. They’re shutting down Van Ness Avenue between Fresno and Tulare streets, trucking in 700 tons of sand, a 45-foot inflatable waterslide, palm trees, cabanas and more. There’s food, drinks, plus beer pong and beach volleyball tournaments. It even goes until 2 a.m. tonight and Saturday. Note: It’s 21+ after 7 p.m., but all ages before that. Here’s more on the event from The Bee. And here’s my column about why this is exactly the type of thing we need downtown. [Info]
SNOOP DOGG: Bow-wow-yippee-yo-yippee-yay — West Coast rap hero Snoop Dogg is at Rainbow Ballroom on Wednesday night, playing for the 18+ crowd. Tickets and info here.
MICHAEL BUBLE: Crooner Michael Buble is, in effect, rounding up the women of Fresno and bringing them to Save Mart Center on Sunday. The pop singer created quite a rush for tickets in our recent giveaway. Sorry, it’s way too late, but you can still buy them at the Save Mart Center box office or via Ticketmaster.
You had fun last year, we had fun last year, even the giraffes had fun last year, so it’s time we did a sequel. Once again, The Beehive and Chaffee Zoo are partnering for Fresno Tweetup Goes Wild, an after-hours party at the zoo where our local Twitter community can mix and mingle at a discounted price.
This year’s event is Saturday, August 27, from 5-8 p.m. Chaffee Zoo will be closed to the public, so it’s an exclusive event for the Fresno Twitter crew. Tickets will cost $5, and kids 10 and younger are free with their parent(s).
If you attended last year, and many of you did, you know it was a blast. There will be food, drinks, live music, and, of course, all kinds of games and prizes. Expect more details right here on The Beehive as the date gets closer.
A few notes on how the Tweetup will work:
You MUST message Chaffee Zoo (@fresnozoo) and/or The Beehive (@fresnobeehive) on Twitter to get on the list for $5 tickets.
You’ll pick up your tickets along with a nametag at the will-call table before the event. You can bring non-Tweeps with ya, but wouldn’t you rather just get them to join Twitter and add to our cool local Twitter community? Exactly.
The Zoo says all its usual animals will be out. We’ve got a few other fun things scheduled — like another Twitpic Scavenger Hunt and a variety of Tweetup Challenges for prizes.
Mark any and all Tweets about the event with the hashtag #wildfresno. And follow that hashtag for all the chatter about Fresno Tweetup Goes Wild.
If you’re not Twitter, you’ve got plenty of time to join and get into the swing of things. Be sure to follow @fresnobeehive and @fresnozoo first thing.
In a web update, Bee writer Marc Benjamin writes that the baby giraffe that died May 18 at Fresno Chaffee Zoo may have been killed by epileptic episodes, according to a state laboratory report:
Tests measuring toxins, bacteria, viruses and possible trauma provided no new answers, said Lewis Wright, the zoo’s interim veterinarian.
What really struck me about this update isn’t so much the conclusion from the lab as the solitary comment at the bottom of the story, written by stevecrozz:
Where are all the comments about inexperienced zookeepers? and where’s all that instantaneous unfounded blame passing? It feels so empty in here…
I totally agree. One of the side effects of a Web-based news cycle is the tendency for people to instantly leap to (often) outlandish conclusions. Moments after the original fresnobee.com story went up about the baby giraffe’s death, someone had blasted the zoo staff for incompetence. Whatever happened to expressing sympathy over the story, then reserving judgment until the facts were in?