WHAT: The public can cast their vote for cuteness in a Facebook poll to choose the names for the three adorable African newborn lion cubs at Indianapolis Zoo. Zookeepers preselected nine names, and working in conjunction with MainSource Bank, presenting sponsor of the lion exhibit, narrowed that list to six for the public vote. The three most popular names will become the names for the cubs. The selected names, along with their pronunciation and meaning, are: Enzi (ehn-ZEE), “powerful”; Mashaka (mash-AH-kah), “troublemaker”; Zuberi (zuw-BEH-ree), “strong”; Leland (LEE-lahnd), “meadowland”; Sukari (sue-CAR-ee), “sweet”; Niara (nee-AH-rah), “one with high purpose”.
WHEN: The poll will open at 5am on Tuesday, Nov. 3, (Election Day) and voting will close at 11:59pm on Monday, Nov. 30. The results will be announced on Dec. 1.
WHERE: Voting will take place on the Indianapolis Zoo’s Facebook page.
WHO: Facebook users who like the Indianapolis Zoo’s page can vote once per day. Additionally, one lucky fan will be chosen at random to receive an Indianapolis Zoo prize pack, including a lion plush and a family four-pack of Zoo tickets.
WHY: The Zoo welcomed the adorable new arrivals, two males and a female, on Sept. 21. They are the first lion cubs born here since 2003. First-time mother Zuri and her cubs are all doing well, though they will remain in a private indoor area to protect the newborns’ health. Zoo veterinarians and keepers are pleased with the cubs’ progress. In the six weeks since their birth, the cubs have more than doubled in size and currently weigh between 11.9 and 15.3 pounds. Keepers have noticed the feisty felines are starting to develop their own personalities. They enjoy playing together — and with mom’s tail — and they have also begun exhibiting some stalking behaviors. The new family makes its debut in spring 2016 in the newly renovated lion exhibit presented by MainSource Bank, where new glass windows and expanded viewing areas will allow visitors to get closer to the lions than ever before. Indianapolis Zoo babies are presented by Hendricks Regional Health.