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Twitter user who adopted bison after NDSU beat Iowa has baby buffalo named in his honor

Carl the buffalo was the first calf born to the National Buffalo Museum's herd this year in Jamestown, N.D. He was named in honor of a Twitter user who symbolically adopted a bison after NDSU defeated University of Iowa in football last year. (Submitted by National Buffalo Museum)

FARGO—A baby bison in Jamestown has been named in honor of a popular Twitter personality who symbolically adopted another buffalo to celebrate Iowa's loss to North Dakota State University's football team.

The National Buffalo Museum in Jamestown, N.D., announced Tuesday that Carl the buffalo was born April 11. The American bison was named after Twitter user Fake Bo Pelini, the personality who symbolically adopted a bison for $20 through the nonprofit Defenders of Wildlife shortly after the NDSU Bison defeated the University of Iowa Hawkeyes 23-21 in September.

To celebrate the victory, the National Buffalo Museum volunteered to name a bison in honor of Fake Bo Pelini, Museum Executive Director Ilana Xinos said Wednesday. But when the museum told the Twitter user last September a baby bison would be named in his honor, he tweeted with his handle, @FauxPelini, "Could we name it Carl? Please."

Weighing in at 50 pounds, Carl was the first bison born this year from the museum's herd, which consists of 30 bison that reside in Jamestown. That includes Dakota Miracle, a rare white buffalo and offspring of White Cloud, the famous white buffalo that, according to Xinos, attracted an estimated 3 million visitors to Jamestown before she died last year.

Fake Bo Pelini is a parody account of Mark "Bo" Pelini, head football coach for the Youngstown State University Penguins in Ohio. Fake Bo Pelini is a known Huskers fan—the real Bo Pelini previously coached for the Nebraska Cornhuskers but was fired in 2014—and has more than 447,000 followers on Twitter.

On his adoption application, Fake Bo Pelini wrote a gift note thanking the Bison for beating the Penguins, adding that the adoption was in memory of Iowa.

Xinos confirmed the adoption to the Herald, but she said Carl isn't the bison Fake Bo Pelini adopted.

"We have just named the calf Carl in honor of Faux," she said.

Fake Bo Pelini doesn't seem to mind.

"He's perfect and I love him," Fake Bo Pelini told the Herald via tweet when asked what he thought of Carl.

Carl shares his name with the real Bo Pelini's brother, Carl, who also coaches for the Penguins. 

A GoFundMe campaign has been set up in Carl's name to raise money to support the mission of the museum and "make sure that Carl has plenty to eat so he can grow into the 2,000 pound bull that can run a 2.2 second 40-(yard dash) he is destined to become." You can find it at www.gofundme.com/7mnetd-carl-the-buffalo.

April Baumgarten

April Baumgarten joined the Grand Forks Herald May 19, 2015, and covers crime and education. She grew up on a ranch 10 miles southeast of Belfield, where her family raises registered Hereford cattle. She double majored in communications and history/political science at Jamestown (N.D.) College, now known as University of Jamestown. During her time at the college, she worked as a reporter and editor-in-chief for the university's newspaper, The Collegian. Baumgarten previously worked for The Dickinson Press as a city government and energy reporter in 2011 before becoming the editor of the Hazen Star and Center Republican. She then returned to The Press as a news editor, where she helped lead an award-winning newsroom in recording the historical oil boom.

Have a story idea? Contact Baumgarten at 701-780-1248.

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