Community Helps Name Three Lion Cubs

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DES MOINES, Iowa — Today at the Blank Park Zoo, three 9-week-old lion cubs are finally getting names and the Des Moines community played a big part in picking those names.

Last year in December, Blank Park Zoo asked the community to name ideas.

“We had people submit names, we asked for native Swahili names, so basically any name that was native to the region that lions are from,” said  Kelsey Kovacevich a Carnivore Primate Keeper at the zoo.

At $50 a submission, the zoo used the money to care for the lion cubs, they also donated a large portion to Lion conservation efforts in Africa.

The zoo got over 100 submissions and staff had a hard time narrowing them down to five names for the two female cubs and three names for the male cub.

Then they opened it back up to the public to vote on names each cub should have.

“Just just getting the community involved helps us to help the animals and conservation and it just spreads the word and again it just getting the community involved with what we have here in their own back yard,” said Kovacevich.

Kovacevich said zookeepers are excited the cubs will finally have names because it helps a lot with training.

“Naming them very early does help us to start the training process so they know their names, and it does give them an identity as well because for us it’s nice to be able to call their name during a training session also for guests they do connect with the animals when they actually do know their names,” said Kovacevich.

The names will be released at 9:30 A.M. Friday morning at the zoo and online at

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