-image of cub and Kayla courtesy of Philadelphia Zoo
Philadelphia Zoo announced it is enlisting the help of the public to choose a name for its new sloth bear cub. Selecting from a list of names developed by the cub’s keepers, voters can pick their favorite name for the infant. Born on December 11th, the cub is doing well, growing rapidly, and has become quite adventurous since its outdoor debut in March, shared via Philly Zoo at 2- the Zoo’s new Facebook series. Voting will go through Thursday, April 23rd at 11:59pm. Supporters can vote as many times as they wish, at www.PhiladelphiaZoo.org/vote/
“There has been an overwhelming amount of enthusiasm around the birth of this cub, inside and outside the Zoo,” say Dr. Andy Baker, Philadelphia Zoo’s Chief Operating Officer. “Because of the excitement and support, we are asking our community to participate in helping choose a name. This birth is significant for the Zoo as well as the overall sloth bear population in the U.S., and highlights the wonderful animal care and other work happening at Philadelphia Zoo each and every day.”
· Rahi – Bringer of spring or traveler
· Kelani – A river in Sri Lanka means The Heavens
· Kali – A river in Nepal means Terrific
Sloth bears are listed as Vulnerable by the International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN), with populations declining dramatically in recent decades due to habitat loss, human-wildlife conflict and poaching. Philadelphia Zoo is home to three sloth bears in addition to the cub: 6-year-old dad Bhalu, 7-year-old mom Kayla and 13- year-old Balawat.