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Richard Parker, the Bengal tiger from Life of Pi by Yann Martel, was named after an Edgar Allan Poe character from "The Narrative of Arthur Gordon Pym of Nantucket," written in 1838.

In the story, however, the narrator explains that a hunter named Richard Parker shot the tiger's mother. Sometime during the baby tiger's transport to Ponticherry Zoo, the hunter's name was subsituted for the tiger's name, and the name stuck.
Referring to Richard Parker, from p.198 of Life of Pi: "Don't you think that before he submits to eating puffy, putrefied zebra he'll try the fresh, juicy Indian boy just a short dip away?"
by E.Hall August 18, 2006

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