The New Orleans... Pelicans? - FOX 8 WVUE New Orleans News, Weather, Sports

The New Orleans... Pelicans?

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New Orleans, La.- Hornets fans may be practicing the word Pelican, just to see how it rolls off their tongues.

In an NBA full of names like Rockets and Grizzlies some people think the name Pelican isn't mean enough. 

"I don't think Pelicans say I'm fierce enough to be a fighting basketball team," said one fan at the Audubon Zoo. 

Nearby, the Brown Pelican chilled on a stump. When it comes to food, the Louisiana state bird is always on the attack. 

"The Brown Pelicans are called plunge divers. They'll soar over head and spot fish they want," said Carolyn Atherton, Assistant Bird Curator at the Zoo. 

Fierce? Not really. But in another area of the zoo are the kind of Pelicans you draft. 

"We have the Eastern White Pelicans which are extremely large. They are three feet standing up. They are aggressive taking over other groups of fish and get big mouthfuls of what they want," Atherton said. 

The Eastern White Pelicans work as a team. Wing spans are as wide as nine feet great for dunks.

"I really thought of something being soft but seeing them fight amongst each other I can see they have a little aggression in them," said Benita Correy. 

But Steve Evans says he is not convinced that it's the best team name. 

"The fierce ones are the Memphis Grizzlies, the Timberwolves. The Lakers aren't so fierce. 

Another woman mentioned the San Antonio Spurs.  

"The name isn't tough," she said. "But a spur on a cowboys boot would hurt like hell if it hit you." 

If a religious tie persuades you, the Pelicans are similar to the Saints.

Father John Restrepo calls it one of the earliest symbols of Christ. 

"When the Pelican mother cannot feed it's young it cuts its breast and feeds her young with the blood, just like Jesus Christ who feeds us with his body," the priest said. 

"We should do our research a little more on Pelicans," said one Hornets fan slowly changing her mind. 

Pelicans have been around for 30 million years. They faced extinction but survived by intelligent teamwork.

Any name change would have to be approved by the NBA.

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