Edinburgh Zoo reveals wild new names of little lion cubs

The winning names chosen were Mitaali, Keshari and Kushanu in tribute to the Gir forest.

Edinburgh Zoo: The cubs have been named. <strong>RZSS</strong>
Edinburgh Zoo: The cubs have been named. RZSS

The Asiatic lion cubs born at Edinburgh Zoo have been named.

Following a public vote, the winning names picked were Mitaali, Keshari and Kushanu – in tribute to Gir National Park in western India where the endangered species is found.

Andrew Laing, one of the zoo’s senior animal keepers, said: “We’re thrilled over 1000 people voted to name our adorable lion cubs.

“Conservation is at the heart of what we do and it is fantastic to see our cubs helping to raise awareness of the threats Asiatic lions face in the wild.”

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Recent estimates of the wild population of Asiatic lions range between 350 and 650, with threats including poaching, habitat destruction, conflict with humans, and a declining number of prey animals.

Mr Laing added: “Shortlisted by our keepers, the names are Gujarati, from the Gir forest in Gujarat, western India. Asiatic lions previously existed across southwest Asia but are now only found in the Gir forest.

“Our little girl is now called Mitaali, which means graceful or beautiful, and our two boys are Keshari, meaning lion or saffron, and Kushanu which means fire.”

Endangered: More than 1000 people voted in the poll. RZSS

The winning group of names received 39% of the public vote, beating Sikara, Manushri and Kunwar which came in second with 37%, and Shafali, Trusanu and Chandu which received 24%.

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The cubs, which were born in August, have started to explore outdoors but are still spending much of their time inside.

Indoor viewing remains closed to the public to allow the family some peace and quiet.


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