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Name the Rat Contest Goes Viral

The MD of Bonnyville found themselves making headlines across the continent as media outlets everywhere picked up on the Name the Rat contest.

In case you haven’t heard, the MD has a taxidermied rat that they’re going to use in presentations on pest control. However, they need a name for it. To come up with one they asked local residents to come up with some ideas on their Facebook page, with the most popular choice winning a prize.

Well, the contest soon reached well beyond the MD’s borders after the CBC caught wind of it. After that, the attention grew and grew as everyone from traditional broadcasters like Global News and online publications such as Mashable wrote their own versions of the story.

Communications Coordinator for the MD Tracy Wasylow says they got about 350 submissions for the contest. Most were through the Facebook status, but a few more came through direct message and Twitter. One resident even picked up a good ol’ fashioned pen and paper and mailed in a name.

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Now the contest moves on to part 2. “What we’ve done is we’ve taken all the suitable names and we’ve submitted them to our Ag Services board.” Wasylow explains. “From that list of 232 names, they’ll pick ten and we’ll put those on Facebook and whichever one receives the most likes will win.”

Wasylow has some theories as to why this contest captured the imagination of so many. “It was a feel good contest. It’s just a nice family friendly kind of thing. That and the whole no-rat Alberta thing. That’s something Albertans are really proud of. To imagine a place as being rat free, it’s kind of almost mind of blowing.”

Alberta is of course, the only place in the world outside of the extreme north or south to not have any rats.

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