Seven-Year-Old Names Lindsay’s Animal Ambassador

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WALNUT CREEK—Thanks to seven-year-old Zoe Surmann of Concord Lindsay Wildlife Experience’s California Ground Squirrel animal ambassador finally has a name. Meet Blossom.
Blossom was chosen out of more than 500 entries that came in via Lindsay’s website and those handed-in at the front
desk. The young female squirrel came to Lindsay Wildlife Rehabilitation Hospital in December 2014. O150626_LWM_Wildnight-2413riginally found as a baby, she was raised by humans but brought to Lindsay when her caregivers could no longer take care of her. Young squirrels
learn important skills from their mothers in the wild. Since she never learned these skills, she would be unable to survive in the wild but is now an ambassador of her species at Lindsay.
The winning name was announced June 26 at Friday Night at Lindsay, a special event for families focused on nocturnal animals. Part of winning the squirrel naming campaign, Zoe and three of her friends and family received a private meet-and-greet with the squirrel.
Coloring on paper bags and filling them with food, Zoe and her friends giggled and watched as Blossom excitedly retrieved her
food out of those bags.   Zoe and her family are members of the Lindsay Wildlife Experience and visit regularly. Zoe saw the squirrel several times and came up with nearly 40 names that she had her mother Patty Surmann submit for her.
Zoe choose the name because the naming campaign was happening during the spring, she thought of wildflowers and when they blossom.
“Zoe thought of this squirrel also coming out of winter hibernation into the spring in the same way a flower blossoms after a long winter’s rest and thought ‘Blossom’ would be a wonderful name for her,” said Patty Surmann.
This naming illustrates exactly why Lindsay engages the public to help name new animal ambassadors; it helps them connect with wildlife, said Interpretive Programs Manager Sarah Parnell.
“Zoe’s experience, as well as her up-close encounter with Blossom, will hopefully leave her with a lifetime of appreciation and respect for ground squirrels and other wildlife,” she said. “Lindsay Wildlife staff loves the squirrel’s new name and there is a great story behind it. We were certainly touched by Zoe’s enthusiasm and excitement for this opportunity.”
Blossom also happens to have a link to the founder of the California ground squirrel! Frederick William Beechey is credited with “discovering” the squirrel and explored much of Northern California in the early 1800s as captain of a ship named: Blossom.


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Elisabeth Nardi

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