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After Eko: 'Lake' near Naples Zoo could be named in memory of fallen tiger

EkoLakewftx.jpeg
Eko Lake proposal map
Posted at 11:30 AM, Apr 05, 2022
and last updated 2022-04-06 12:03:22-04

NAPLES, Fla. — UPDATE 4/6/22: People in a Naples neighborhood will have to wait to see one of their landmarks renamed after Eko the Tiger, the endangered Malayan tiger who was killed at the Naples Zoo in December.

At Wednesday's city council meeting, there was debate over whether City Lake 19 already has a name.

The pond sits next to Fleischman Park, and representatives of the family said it’s already named Fleischman Lake.

The city council voted to do more research on the name before taking any further action.

Our original reporting continues below.

A small retention pond less than one mile from Naples Zoo could be renamed in memory of a tiger killed last year.

A petition to rename the current "Lake 19" off 15th Ave. N in Naples as "Eko Lake" is set for consideration by the city council Wednesday morning.

17 structures surround the retention pond, which is in the Lake Park neighborhood just southwest of the zoo.

The idea came from resident Jan Chattler, whose backyard faces the lake.

"When Eko was killed, I wanted him to be remembered, and what happened to him, and how it happened," Chattler told FOX4. "I think it's important for people be educated about him."

There has been high public support for some form of memorial for the Malayan tiger, who was shot and killed in late Dec. 2021 after a contracted employee of the Naples Zoo stuck his arm in the tiger's enclosure.

The tiger bit River Rosenquist's arm and refused to release; Collier County deputies were ultimately forced to shoot and kill the animal.

Chattler created a petition and got signatures from her neighbors around the lake. Naples Zoo president and CEO Jack Mulvena also signed the petition.

"We are incredibly grateful for the continued support of our community," Mulvena said in a statement. "Our staff and members are so thankful to Jan Chattler for her eforts to make Eko Lake a reality."