Canberra, Aug 18 (IANS) Australia’s Werribee Open Range Zoo announced on Friday that three 10-week-old African lion cubs got names after over 360,000 participants cast their votes in an online naming competition.
According to the results of the competition, Mwezi, Kianga, and Jango were the highest polling monikers, reports Xinhua news agency.
Werribee Open Range Zoo African River Trail Keeper Ben Gulli said the names are from languages used in the African regions where wild lions are found and the names align with the newborns’ individual personalities.
“The name Mwezi, meaning moon in Swahili, has been given to one of the male cubs because the litter was born during the evening of a full moon,” said Gulli.
“The name Kianga — meaning sunshine in Swahili — has been given to the female cub because she’s very bright and picks things up really quickly.
“The name Jango — meaning brave in Xhosa — has been given to the second male cub because he’s extremely confident in exploring on his own,” he added.
Gulli noted that the cubs are continuing to take opportunities to explore beyond the comforts of their den, venturing into their pride’s habitat.
“This is now extending up to one hour a day. Like many other newborns, they tire very quickly but the amount of time they explore and play will increase as they build their strength and resilience in the coming weeks and months,” said the keeper.
Lions are listed as Vulnerable on the International Union for Conservation of Nature’s Red List, with their population decreasing to 23,000-39,000 in the wild.
In June, Werribee Open Range Zoo welcomed the birth of three cubs — the first of this threatened species to be born at the Zoo in almost six years.
The cubs, which each weighed approximately 1.5 kg, were born in the evening on June 4 to 11-year-old mother Nilo and five-year-old male Sheru.