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OPM's John Berry, king of the jungle

What do Obama’s chief people person and a lion at the National Zoo have in common?

They carry the same name, by design: In 2010 the zoo named one of its seven tiger cubs after John Berry, director of the Office of Personnel Management, who also happens to be the former head of the zoo. 

Patricia Niehaus, national president of the Federal Managers Association, brought the connection to light at FMA’s 74th National Convention & Management Training Seminar in Arlington, Va., on March 13.

“If you’ve been [at the zoo] and seen John the lion, this is whom he was named after,” Niehaus said in introducing Berry, inciting delight and laughter from the audience. “I don’t know many who have a lion named after them.”

Berry served as director of the zoo from 2005 to 2009, and was in charge of more than 800 employees and 2,000 animals. According to a video on OPM’s website, he “apparently had deep, meaningful conversations” with the cubs’ mother, Lusaka, before she died in 2010 at the ripe age of 18..

Posted by Camille Tuutti on Mar 13, 2012 at 12:11 PM


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Reader comments

Thu, Mar 22, 2012 Dia

The cub in question's mother was not Lusaka. The cub's mother is Shera.

Fri, Mar 16, 2012 Tony the Tiger The Jungle

Now he's the head Zoo Keeper at OPM... Fitting. Still waiting for a deep, meaningful conversation.

Thu, Mar 15, 2012 GAYLE JOHNSON INDIANAPOLIS

SOOOOOO, they named a Tiger cub after John and then it turned into a Lion?

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