GRAND RAPIDS, Mich. (WOOD) — John Ball Zoo is asking the public for help naming its two new red panda cubs.
The contest, which is in partnership with the local Refugee Education Center, allows members of the public to vote for the cubs’ names through Nov. 19.
Name options for the male cub are:
- Dawa (Da-wa, Bhutanese), meaning “moon”
- Kancha (Can-cha, Nepali), meaning “the youngest member of the family”
- Karma (Car-ma, Bhutanese), meaning “star”
Name options for the female cub are:
- Nima (Nee-ma, Bhutanese), meaning “sun”
- Kanchi (Can-chi, Nepali), meaning “the youngest member of the family”
- Pema (Pee-ma, Bhutanese), meaning “lotus flower”
Voting requires a donation of $1 or more and will take place online. The donations will go toward John Ball Zoo’s mission of preserving wildlife and wild places locally and around the world.
“We are so excited to get our community involved in the naming of our red panda cubs,” Rhiannon Mulligan, education manager at John Ball Zoo, said in a release. “These name options were carefully chosen alongside the Refugee Education Center to reflect the places and cultures where red pandas come from and to spread awareness of where we can continue having a positive impact on wildlife and wild places.”
The cubs were born in July to Wasabi and Wyatt. They are the second litter for the pair.
Over the past two decades, the red panda population has declined by 50%, the zoo says. The zoo is part of a Species Survival Plan for red pandas through the Association of Zoos and Aquariums.