Zoo Names Goat After Nashville Hockey Star

Nashville Zoo is naming one of its goats “Pekka” in honor of recently retired Nashville Predators' goalie Pekka Rinne.

[February 22, 2022] - Nashville Zoo is naming one of its goats “Pekka” in honor of recently retired Nashville Predators' goalie Pekka Rinne. The announcement comes two days before Rinne’s number 35 jersey will be retired at a Preds home game on February 24.

“The Nashville Predators Foundation and the Nashville Zoo have collaborated on many fun projects over the years, and we are so grateful for our partnership,” said Rebecca King, Nashville Predators Vice President of Community Relations. “With the retirement of Pekka Rinne’s jersey, the Nashville Zoo wanted to do something special, in a zoo way, to commemorate this occasion. It seemed fitting to have the G.O.A.T. (Greatest Of All Time) of the Nashville Predators be honored by having a goat named after him."

Pekka, the goat, can be seen by guests at the Zoo’s Grassmere Historic Home and Farm where he lives with his female companion, Kimber. The one-year-old Pekka has been chosen to be the Zoo’s breeding male with hopes of baby goats in the future.

“He’s really good looking with his long beard and flashy coat,” said Megan Cohn, Nashville Zoo’s Contact Area Supervisor. “That made him a great candidate for breeding. We're thrilled to name him after someone who is so admired here in Nashville.”

In conjunction with the animal naming, the Nashville Predators Foundation, is offering plush goats for sale with proceeds benefiting the 365 Pediatric Cancer Fund. Created in 2012 by Rinne and former captain Shea Weber, the 365 Fund supports cancer research at the Monroe Carell Jr. Children’s Hospital at Vanderbilt.  The plush goats sport a number 35 Preds jersey and can be ordered at (website w/ link).

About Nashville Zoo

Nashville Zoo is a nonprofit organization celebrating 25 years at Grassmere. The Zoo is an accredited member of the Associations of Zoos and Aquariums, exemplifying the highest standards of animal care and husbandry. Nashville Zoo is actively engaged in conservation research, habitat protection, breeding programs, and education initiatives in our backyard as well as around the world. With support from the Nashville community, donors, and sponsors, the Zoo is ranked the number one tourist attraction in Middle Tennessee and welcomes more than one million guests annually. Nashville Zoo is located at 3777 Nolensville Pike just six miles south of downtown. For more information about Nashville Zoo, visit nashvillezoo.org.

About the Nashville Predators Foundations Empowered by SmileDirectClub

The Predators Foundation has partnered with Nashville-based SmileDirectClub in an ongoing effort to meet educational, social, health and cultural needs throughout Nashville and Middle Tennessee. The Predators Foundation is devoted to using its platform and influence from its affiliation with professional sports to serve the needs of the community by offering unique resources and financial support to local youth-oriented organizations. Since its inception in 1998, the Predators Foundation has awarded over $8 million in grants to the greater Nashville community. During the 2020-21 season, the Nashville Predators, Bridgestone Arena, Ford Ice Centers and Predators Foundation contributed over $4 million in cash and in-kind gifts throughout the Nashville community and surrounding areas. To learn more about the Nashville Predators Foundation empowered by SmileDirectClub and to see a list of upcoming events, visit NashvillePredators.com/Foundation.