Names Released for Bush Dog Whelps & New Zoo Crew Member

Two baby bush dog whelps and a new “Zoo Crew” character at the Palm Beach Zoo have had names chosen by the public, in two separate online voting contests on The new names were announced at 7:30 p.m. at the Zoo’s “Safari Nights” gathering.

The bush dog whelps have been named Mato and Perrito. The public selected two names from six choices, from a list generated by the whelps’ keepers. More than 3,250 votes were cast.

Sarah Colman, Zoo Keeper, helped assigned the names to each of the whelps. Mato, which is a term for the scrub lands where bush dogs are found, will be the name of the larger of the two brothers. Perrito, which means “little dog” in Spanish, will be the name of the smaller of the two whelps.

Perrito Mato

“(Mato) is the bigger of the two whelps,” explained Colman. “He has a small pink scar near his right eye, a large head, and a thick bushy tail.  He is independent , and is likely to be off exploring by himself.”

“(Perrito) has a long pink scar on the left side of his nose, a slender face, and a thin tail,” said Colman. “He is very curious, but likes to stay near his dad. He will cry if he's by himself.”     

Zoo officials also announced the name of the newest character in the “Zoo Crew” family, chosen in an online poll. With more than 500 votes cast, “Crash” is the new name of the bird character.

Joe Landmichl, Volunteer Services Manager, said the people have spoken, and he believes “Crash” is an appropriate name, since birds are typically graceful, and this is a light-hearted character.

“Kids and Zoo guests alike all love the costume characters,” said Landmichl. “What better character to add, than a happy-go-lucky cardinal. The kind of emotions that the characters bring makes the day of our Zoo guests. Birds of a feather do flock together.”

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