FORT WORTH (CBSDFW.COM) – The voting is over and the Fort Worth Zoo on Thursday announced the name of its new baby gorilla. Say hello to Augustus — or Gus, for short. The name received the most support from more than 8,800 votes, after an endorsement from an unlikely place.READ MORE: 'Important Milestone', International Space Station Onboard Toilet Reaches 40K Flushes
Gus was born back in December, becoming the first gorilla ever born at the Fort Worth Zoo. A campaign to give the little guy a name started last month. The zoo put that responsibility in the hands of visitors, first accepting ideas from the public and then allowing them to vote for one of the finalists, picked by zoo officials.
Voting ended on Wednesday and the winning name was announced on Thursday.
According to the Fort Worth Zoo, at different times throughout the campaign, three different names were in the lead and had a chance to become the baby ape’s moniker. Officials said that Grover led the Facebook voting while Mosi was the favorite for visitors voting at the zoo in person. Gus tended to rank high among Twitter voters.READ MORE: A Lot Less Dipping Going On -- Chick-fil-A Is Facing A Sauce Shortage
But the deciding factor was actually a public college in Kansas.
Pittsburg State University has a mascot named Gus the Gorilla. When students there learned about the online campaign, and found out that Gus was an option for the baby gorilla’s name, they aggressively encouraged others to cast their vote and create a real-life Gus the Gorilla. Over the course of 24 hours, Gus shot to the top of the leaderboard and never looked back.
Augustus means great and magnificent. He is a western lowland gorilla. His mom is a 16-year-old gorilla from Oklahoma City named Gracie, and his dad is a 25-year-old ape from Buffalo named Elmo. Fort Worth Zoo visitors are invited to come see the whole family during Spring Break.
The primate’s birth is being seen as a conservation success. Western lowland gorillas have a low reproductive rate, and are on the list of critically endangered species as a result of hunting and disease. Despite great strides made to combat the decline, it would take an estimated 75 years for the gorilla population to fully recover.MORE NEWS: 24 Migrants Apprehended Inside Train Grain Hopper Near Corpus Christi