ROYAL OAK, Mich. -- Some University of Michigan backers weren't amused to learn the Detroit Zoo's baby wolverines had been given nicknames of rival Big Ten teams.
After receiving several dozen complaints, including threats to cancel memberships or reduce donations, the zoo renamed the 3½-month-old kits last week.
A zookeeper who graduated from Michigan State University had named the kits Sparty -- for the MSU mascot -- and Bucky, either for the Wisconsin Badger mascot or a variation on the Ohio State Buckeyes.
"We got some e-mail and phone calls from zoo visitors and the general public who were deeply offended by the names," zoo spokeswoman Rana Kozouz told the Detroit Free Press on Tuesday. "So we changed the names to Tamarack and Tilia, the names of Michigan trees."