Support The Moscow Times!

Russian Zoo Names Black-Haired Goat 'Obama'

The Primorye Safari Park in Russia's Far East has stirred online controversy after procuring a black-haired goat and naming it “Obama,” the news.ru website reported Monday.

The park released a press release detailing the goat's medical history and origins in the Black Sea resort town of Sochi. “We needed to ensure that 'Obama' carried no infection and that 'Obama' does not have worms,” park director Dmitry Mezentsev wrote in the press release.

The word “goat” in Russian is considered an insult when used in reference to people.

Photographs and a video accompanied the press release, including an image of the goat with the caption, “Obama on a leash on the shores of the Black Sea.”

The Primorye Safari Park is notorious for its publicity stunts. The zoo first gained online fame in 2015 when an Amur tiger developed an unlikely friendship with its goat-dinner and the two were filmed walking around the park together, charming media audiences worldwide.

The stunt comes a week after a company in Russia's Tatarstan halted production of their chocolate-flavored “Little Obama” ice cream amid accusations of racism.

U.S. President Barack Obama is not the only Western leader to be granted an animal namesake amid tensions over the Ukrainian conflict. The park already has a female goat named Merkel.

Read more

Independent journalism isn’t dead. You can help keep it alive.

The Moscow Times’ team of journalists has been first with the big stories on the coronavirus crisis in Russia since day one. Our exclusives and on-the-ground reporting are being read and shared by many high-profile journalists.

We wouldn’t be able to produce this crucial journalism without the support of our loyal readers. Please consider making a donation to The Moscow Times to help us continue covering this historic time in the world’s largest country.