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The lion cub names are...

Posted by: Rebecca Whitham, Communications

The results of our Name the Cubs contest are in! More than 2,000 of you entered the contest for a chance to name one male and one female lion cub—and the winning names are:

Male cub – Rudo (“love” in Zulu, pronounced ROO-doh )

Photo by Ryan Hawk/Woodland Park Zoo

Female cub – Busela (“happy and independent” in Zulu, pronounced BOO-sayla )

Photo by Ryan Hawk/Woodland Park Zoo

Two lucky winners—Tate and Ross MacDonald of Seattle and Pamela Garland of Olympia—are taking home the grand prizes for submitting these winning names, as selected by our panel of zoo judges. That grand prize includes a private viewing at the lion exhibit with a keeper!

Rudo and Busela join their brother and sister, who also received names recently, this time with the help of zookeepers and donors who have helped bring big cats to Woodland Park Zoo.

Photo by Dennis Dow/Woodland Park Zoo.

The other male is now known as Pelo (“heart” in Sotho, pronounced PEE-lo) and the other female as Nobuhle (“the beautiful one” in Zulu, pronounced no-BOO-sche). The Zulu and Sotho names represent languages that are native to a part of the lions’ South African range.

Thanks to everyone who entered the contest! We received such thoughtful submissions and all of us here at the zoo truly appreciate the time you took to find names and meanings that represent what is so special about these four cubs—the joy they bring to our community, and the inspiration they drive in all of us to do something more for wildlife.

The African lion is the only big cat not protected under the Endangered Species Act, but that doesn't mean it isn't facing pressures that need immediate attention. As few as 32,000 African lions remain in the wild, and their future remains uncertain as human population growth impacts lion populations and the landscapes on which they depend.

Adopt a lion cub through our ZooParent special today and $5 of your contribution will go directly to the zoo’s conservation efforts, supporting projects around the globe like the Ruaha Carnivore Project. The project works in Tanzania to address the conflicts that erupt between humans and lions when competing for space in the Ruaha landscape. Learn more about this conservation collaboration and other projects around the globe.


Anonymous said…
I still liked my name better...Oh well congrats!
Anonymous said…
Hi, are there individual photo for Pelo and Nobuhle?
Anonymous said…
I liked my names better also... the chosen names don't seem to fit with the descriptions of their personalities...congrats to the winners!
Anonymous said…
Congrats to the winners, but what probably happened was that all the good names that "fit" with the descriptions were submitted multiple times, so the judges were told to choose the best names out of the entries that only had one submission. Imagine the up-'roar' if you had submitted the winning name but someone else got the grand prize!
We don't have individual photos posted anywhere, but you can look for them by noting where the shaved mark is on each cub.

Rudo - front right
Busela - back right
Pelo - front left
Nobuhle - back left
Don't worry--we included in the rules that if a winning name was submitted by more than one entrant, that the prize winner would be determined by random draw. No eligible entry was excluded.

We think "love" is a meaning that applies beautifully to all of our very social and family-bonded cubs, and "happy and independent" works great for our female who is naturally curious and first to explore something new. There were many great options to choose from--this was no easy task!
Anonymous said…
ha-ha ... I was wondering how you guys (the zoo keepers) can tell each lion cubs from one to the other. I've noticed the shaved mark on their front and back, but wasn't aware the right and left. In regard to the individual photo. Check out the MyZoo Spring 2013, on page 30. It would be very interesting that if you could put those photo online and put the name next to each photo. Is Rudo the cute little cub on the cover of MyZoo?