An out-of-state special interest group powered “Augustus” to a come-from-behind victory in the Fort Worth Zoo’s election to name its new western lowland gorilla.
The baby primate, who will go by “Gus” for short, was born at the zoo in December. His name was revealed Thursday.
After name nominations were gathered last month, social media and in-park polls opened Feb. 26 with four name candidates: Augustus, Crockett, Mosi and Grover.
At one point, “Augustus” was leading the votes on Twitter but trailing in the Facebook and in-park counts.
But then the students at Pittsburg State University in Kansas got involved, and for good reason: The small public school’s mascot is Gus the Gorilla.
“Within 24 hours, Gus surged from third place to first, surpassing Mosi and Grover,” the zoo said in a statement Thursday.
“Augustus” had some local support, too, on its way to 8,800-plus votes. TCU’s mascot, SuperFrog, endorsed the name in a video last week, holding a fake gorilla in a rocking chair with the message “SuperFrog is great. Augustus means great.”