Literary Agent Names SF Zoo's Baby Tiger After Herself (For $47,000)

A Sumatran tiger cub born last month at the San Francisco Zoo has finally been named — but the rights to do so didn’t come cheap.

The female cub, born Feb. 10, had been referred to as “the cub” until May 11’s ZooFest fundraising event.

At the event, tickets to which were at least $500, official auctioneer and America’s Cup fan Mark Buell was pushed aside by guest Robin Williams, the Chronicle’s Leah Garchik reports.

“Let’s get a name for this tiger…But you’ve got to pay to name the puss.” Williams said, according to the Chron’s Catherine Bigelow, who also reported on the event.

At the conclusion of the event, which raised $1.35 million, naming rights for the zoo’s newest acquisition, a Komodo Dragon, went for $25,000, Bigelow reports.

Bigelow also lauds the generosity of literary agent Jillian Manus, who she says paid $47,000 to name the cub “Jillian,” presumably after herself.

You can see a whole lot of pictures from ZooFest here.

In related news, this week San Francisco Rec and Park will vote on a proposal to raise Zoo admission fees by $2 for every visitor. Want to catch Jillian and the Dragon (expected to debut July 1) at the old ticket prices? Better do so before September 1, when the increases, if approved, will take effect.

the author

Eve Batey is the editor and publisher of the San Francisco Appeal. She used to be the San Francisco Chronicle's Deputy Managing Editor for Online, and started at the Chronicle as their blogging and interactive editor. Before that, she was a co-founding writer and the lead editor of SFist. She's been in the city since 1997, presently living in the Outer Sunset with her husband, cat, and dog. You can reach Eve at

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