K-POP MANIA COMES TO THE LOS ANGELES ZOO WITH THE NAMING OF ITS NEWBORN RESIDENT

CONTACT: GLAZA Press

January 29, 2019

Photo by Jamie Pham

The Los Angeles Zoo announces “Haechan” as the name of its newborn resident, a southern pudu born at the L.A. Zoo on December 19, 2018, to first-time parents Steph and Mario. The L.A. Zoo launched a Facebook fundraiser to name the pudu, with fans and followers of both the L.A. Zoo and K-pop star Lee Dong-hyuck, a.k.a. Haechan of the band NCT, taking particular interest in the Zoo’s newest offspring, a petite deer species from South America.  Over the years, fans of K-pop star Haechan have given him the moniker “pudu” due to his likeness to this adorable little animal, even sharing their own fan art and photo comparisons online. The fundraising goal to officially name the fawn Haechan was met within hours of the Facebook announcement, with fans making tax-deductible donations to support wildlife conservation.

“Due to Haechan and NCT fans’ overwhelming enthusiasm, this campaign raised over $2,500 in support of our conservation efforts,” says Kait Hilliard, vice president of marketing at the Greater Los Angeles Zoo Association. “We are thrilled to see this groundswell of support and excitement, and we can’t wait to introduce our newest resident to the Los Angeles community.”

The Facebook fundraiser set a goal of $2,000 to name the pudu newborn Haechan, which was surpassed with 192 individual donors contributing a total of $2,687.  The proceeds go to supporting conservation of endangered, vulnerable, threatened and near threatened species such as the pudu, whose wild populations are decreasing due to habitat loss.

“The Zoo’s animal naming program provides groups and individuals an opportunity to develop a deeper connection with a Zoo resident while supporting the Zoo’s animal acquisition fund, which promotes vital wildlife preservation and breeding projects here and around the world,” says Eugenia Vasels, vice president institutional advancement at the Greater Los Angeles Zoo Association. “Key to our conservation work here at the Zoo is our ability to acquire or move animals from other institutions accredited by the Association of Zoos and Aquariums, which allows us to contribute to healthy insurance populations of species that face a variety of threats in the wild.”