Last May, a pair of capybaras (the largest rodents in the world, which CBC says “resemble oversize tail-less beavers“) decided to choose free will, escaping Toronto’s High Park Zoo, and their headlong flight lasted for weeks. One was caught last June 12, but the other anarchist stayed free for another six days. The capybaras (since dubbed “Bonnie” and “Clyde”) were then reunited, though, and apparently that led to them getting, uh, closer to the heart; Bonnie gave birth to triplets in February. And in what makes this story even more Canadian than it taking place in Toronto or involving “oversize tail-less beavers,” a naming contest resulted in the triplets being named after the members of famed prog-rock trio Rush:
The offspring of Toronto’s wandering capybaras now have names — Alex, Geddy and Neil, for members of the band Rush.
…The zoo has said the couple credits their “long time apart” for kindling the passion that led to the birth of the three pups.
Coun. Sarah Doucette, whose ward includes High Park, says nearly 45,000 people voted in a contest held to determine the triplets’ names.
Runners-up included “Snap, Crackle and Pop”, and “Mocha, Chino and Latte.”
Doucette says the winning set of names received more than 30,000 votes.
This is perfect on so many levels. Having capybaras named for you might be viewed as malignant narcissism by some, but it’s a far cry from that in this case, and not particularly close to heresy. The members of Rush (singer/bassist Geddy Lee, drummer/lyricist Neil Peart, and guitarist Alex Lifeson) aren’t really living in the limelight these days, ceasing large-scale touring at the end of 2015 thanks to Peart not wanting to be on the road and dealing with physical challenges. And that final tour, for the band’s 40th anniversary, was a typically modest Rush way to push back against conventional marketing; they didn’t even announce it would be a farewell tour, and chose a whole bunch of deeper-cut songs instead of just playing the hits.
Now that’s the good side of the spirit of radio, showing off some everyday glory. Having people vote overwhelmingly to name capybara triplets (from their home city of Toronto, no less) after them feels like an ideal tribute. Especially considering the wacky animal-inspired videos they often showed in concert:
Rock on, Alex, Geddy and Neil Capybara.