German animal park renames “Putin” the wild boar | News | DW

A Bavarian animal park has chosen to change the name of one of its wild boars, previously named after Russian President Vladimir Putin, holding a ceremony on Tuesday with a baptism, of sorts, in a mixture of bouillon cubes of popular water that the animal enjoys.

The Mehlmeisel animal park in Bavaria had been considering a name change for a few weeks.

After an online vote that also saw famous Ukrainian names like Zelenskyy and Klitschko floating around, after boxing brothers Vitali and Wladimir, ‘Eberhofer’ was chosen as an apolitical alternative to the current predicament.

Putin a difficult name to call among the guests

Animal park operator Eckard Mickisch said he named the boar for Putin three years ago when he arrived, given that it was a purebred Russian pig weighing nearly of 200 kilograms (440 pounds), about three times as much as the wild boar usually found in Germany.

Mickisch said it became uncomfortable to call the pig’s name after the war broke out.

He also worried about visitors from Ukraine, hundreds of thousands of whom arrived in Germany after the war of Russian aggression. Ukrainian refugees are admitted free of charge to Mehlmeisel.

Warden Mickisch says Eberhofer boar was baptized in water infused with Maggi bouillon cubes, which he is ‘crazy’ about

From world leader to fictional policeman as namesake

Out of love and pity, the animal park announced on social networks a competition for a new name.

After 2,700 suggestions, Mehlmeisel Wildlife Park settled on Eberhofer, the name of the policeman in a popular book series set in Bavaria by Rita Falk. Mickisch also joked that the park had invited Franz Eberhofer to attend the christening but had no response.

On Tuesday, the beast formerly known as Poutine received his new name in a ceremony marked by a marzipan and biscuit cake decorated with five happy pigs.

However, with everything from yachts to property belonging to Russian oligarchs seized after the invasion of Ukraine, baptizing the boar formerly known as Putin under a new name in Mehlmeisel presented a minor nod to the good old days of excess oligarchs, with the park promising “a grand boar banquet for him and all his pack”.

ar/msh (dpa, Reuters)

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