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Bearly There

Phoenix won out. What about the other 419 entries in the mayor's bear-naming contest?


"Phoenix" was one of 420 possible names submitted during Mayor L. Douglas Wilder's bear-naming contest to replace the bear's first unofficial name: "Tim," after Gov. Tim Kaine, bestowed by state gaming officials. Only children were eligible in the mayor's contest, but at least half the entries appeared to come from adults.

We found that Richmonders, in their boundless creativity, came up with names that left us utterly bewildered. Like "Artique," described as "international, antique and classy." Or (you saw this one coming) "Lee" and "Grant," which "would be catchy and speak volumes about Richmond." Here are a few more:

I suggest "OTTO" for the bear's name. In my opinion, it has a friendly, bonding sound, and spelled forward or backward it still spells, "OTTO."

Please name the bear "WIKATIDO." This a combination of Doug Wilder + Tim Kaine. Maybe they will both be happy.

The name we chose is "Tugols." To break down the name and tell you what it means. T- is for Governor Tim Kaine. ug - comes from Doug Wilder. O is for "our." L - is for little. So you see what we have done.

I think Quagee is a cool name for a bear. I think it's fiminen and strong. … I think it's kind of deffrent. So he would be the only bear named that. Quagee. That would be cool to call Quagee.

The name I chose for the bear is: Snoby or Snowby.


Sir: I have some names for the Maymount Bear for your consideration. Kando Geta Darkle Ruda Shecky Lako.

My name suggestion for the new bear are: MAYBEAR or MAYMAN.


Our Mayor approved it.

The bear arrived in May.

He will be living at Maymont.

My suggestion is "TUESDAY." It was the day Maymont received him … and the name bears a slight sound that resembles the "two who died."

Why not name the bear Wilder, he seems to be the one fighting so hard for the bear. THE BEAR NOT THE PEOPLE.

"Don Feed." As in, "Ya'll, the sign sez: Don't Feed the Bears!"

We suggest you name the new bear Willie. Willie Bite. Maybe it will remind people not to touch! Lol.

How about "Rough-Rider Teddy" or "Teddy Rough-Rider."

The bear's name should be "Tiki Bear-ber."

Dear Mayor Wilder,

A good name for a cub is willy.

Can I please have a picture of you.

So I can tell what it looks like.

In the park at Maymont.

The park is a nice park.

The cub is small.

So it will live in the woods.

Please send me a picture of you.

D. W. (The Bear) in honor of Douglas Wilder. I'd much rather name the bear after Mr. Wilder than Mr. Kaine (icky!) Mr. Wilder has been known to be a "bear" and he's been around a while…

Name, rather KEEP the name "Tim" for the bear the State Officials named & found! Is the Emperor Wilder going to ever "Shut up" — It would show him up if everyone voted the name "Tim."

And finally, a whole slew from a second-grader: Bearie, Beariane, Yogee, Larrie, Richie, Meemie, Beebie, Barbie, Unitee, Harmonie, Passion. S

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