Capybara Pup Names Announced

  • The most popular names, as voted by the public are: Alex, Geddy, Neil – for RUSH
  • Public was asked to vote on their favourite trio of names online or at High Park Zoo
  • Voting ran from May 31 until June 19, 2017

TORONTO – June 24, 2017 – Friends of High Park Zoo (FHPZ) and the capybara parents Bonnie & Clyde are pleased to announce the names selected for the triplet pups, as voted by the public: Alex, Geddy, and Neil – after the legendary 3-piece rock band hailing from Toronto.
With their Rock and Roll Hall of Fame and Order of Canada acclamations, RUSH – Geddy Lee, Alex Lifeson and Neil Peart – have also been known for their local philanthropy, having received the Allan Waters Humanitarian Award earlier this year. In September 2016, the Lee Lifeson Art Park, named after Willowdale natives Geddy Lee and Alex Lifeson, was opened, and the three members of RUSH were awarded the Key to the City by Toronto Mayor John Tory.
FHPZ believes voters chose well in naming High Park Zoo’s capybaras after RUSH, one of Canada’s gifts to the world. Both are commemorating milestones in 2018; with High Park Zoo celebrating its quasquicentennial (125 years) and RUSH celebrating its 40th anniversary to their 1977 album Farewell to Kings featuring “Closer to the Heart.”
FHPZ would like to thank all those who submitted their suggestions during our campaign this spring; over 12,600 names were received. A short list consisting of ten trios was finalised, and the public was invited to vote on its favourite trio online at or in person at the Zoo. The voting period ran from Wednesday, May 31, through to midnight on Monday, June 19 with 44,817 votes cast from around the world. The chosen names were announced on Saturday, June 24, at noon as part of a celebration at the Capybara’s Pen at High Park Zoo.
Details on the Final Votes:
Total Votes Cast: 44,817
The winner is: Alex, Geddy, Neil with 32,519 votes
First runner up: Snap, Crackle, Pop with 9,190 votes
Second runner up: Mocha, Chino, Latte with 704 votes
Background on Bonnie and Clyde
The two capybaras, dubbed Bonnie and Clyde, which escaped from their pen at High Park Zoo in May, 2016, and spent weeks on the lam before being caught have expanded their family. Three pups, born in February, are growing fast and captivating visitors’ attention swimming in their pond.
High Park Zoo is open daily from 7am to dusk, with free admission. During weekends and statutory holidays between April and October, the Llama Pen is open from 11:30 am to 2 pm (weather dependant) so that visitors can, for a small donation, feed and pet the llamas. At 124 years old, High Park Zoo is one of the oldest Zoos in North America, and is currently in need of capital improvements. Friends of High Park Zoo is undertaking a Master Plan to guide future improvements to the Zoo, including the Llama Pen, the Capybara Pen, the aviary (home of the now-famous Toronto Peacock and his family), along with the other animal pens and visitor areas.
Donations may be made online, by mail or at the Zoo donation stations. Donation instructions are located at online at All donations of $10 or more through the Toronto Parks and Trees Foundation (directed toward High Park Zoo) will receive a tax receipt. FHPZ would also like to thank our partners at the City of Toronto for their ongoing support of the Zoo’s operations.
Quote from Arif Virani, MP for Parkdale-High Park: “I eagerly anticipate the name reveal for some of High Park Zoo’s newest family members: the capybara triplets. The capybara parents – appropriately nicknamed Bonnie and Clyde – won over not only myself, but all of Toronto last year during their unplanned vacation. Now, safely back at home, I am heartened to see new additions to their furry family, and to see our community come together to name the pups. Evidenced by the over 44,000 votes submitted, the High Park Zoo and the capybara family are a staple in our community here in Parkdale-High Park, and across Toronto.”
Quote from Sarah Doucette, City Councillor Ward 13: “Thank you to everyone who submitted such amazing and imaginative names for the Capybara pups. Over whelmed with the over 44,000 votes from around the world. Thanks for your support of the High Park Zoo.”
Quotes from John Formosa, Chair of FHPZ:
“It was a great event with a real see-saw battle between RUSH fans and fans of the Rice Krispies’ trio. We had over 44,000 voters located all over the globe. It was really quite surprising and bodes well for interest in the always free High Park Zoo. We are hoping that this interest continues to help transform High Park Zoo with planned capital and programming enhancements.”
“Because Canada’s oldest zoo is and has always been free it relies for a large part on donations from the community, locally and at large, as well as foundations and corporations. With over 400 volunteers, Friends of High Park Zoo is dedicated to ensuring that there is always a free zoo in High Park for families to enjoy.”
Contact: Esme Markle
Friends of High Park Zoo