The Nashville Zoo wants your help naming Sumatran tiger cubs. Here’s how to vote. The three Sumatran tiger cubs at the Nashville Zoo are yet to be named — but that’s about to change, with a little help from the public. The zoo launched a poll Friday that allows people to cast votes for their favorite names from a list of suggestions for the cubs, who are just shy of two months old. “Each vote comes with a financial commitment of the voter’s choosing and every dollar raised will go to the Tiger Conservation Campaign, an organization helping to save native habitats, curb poaching, eliminate the trade of tiger parts and reduce human/tiger conflicts,” the zoo said in a news release Friday. Each dollar will account for one vote. There are two female cubs and one male cub. The Sumatran tiger subspecies is critically endangered, with only an estimated 400-600 left in the wild. The zoo will match all donations dollar-for-dollar, up to $50,000. The two female names and one male that draw the most donations will win. Here are the names in the running, along with their pronunciations, origins and meanings. Zoo staff selected the male names because the cubs were born close to Halloween, while the female names were chosen to represent the beauty of the cubs and hope for the future. Male names Abu(ah-BOO) — Indonesian name meaning ash Bulan (BOO-lahn) — Indonesian name meaning moon Hantu (han-TOO) — Indonesian name meaning ghost Female names Zara (ZAR-ah) — Malaysian name meaning princess and radiant Zaheera (za-HEER-ah) — Malaysian name meaning brilliant and shining Kirana (key-RAHN-ah) — Indonesian name meaning beautiful sunbeam Kalilla (kai-LEE-la) — Indonesian name meaning sweetheart Melati (me-LA-te) — Indonesian name meaning jasmine flower Head over to nzoo.me/TigerNamingContest to cast your vote. The poll will remain open until 12 p.m. CST on Jan. 11. The winning names will be announced on Jan. 12. Cubs are growing, healthy, ‘fat and sassy’ The cubs were born on Oct. 20 at the zoo. Their mother, Anne, has been adjusting well to raising them. During a routine checkup on Tuesday, all three were healthy, along with being “fat and sassy,” according to zoo staff. Veterinarian Heather Schwartz said they’re keeping a close eye on a wound on the male’s rear end. Staff said Anne has been “over-grooming” the cub as she tries to keep the wound clean, but Schwartz expects it to heal up well. Anne is trained to leave the den while the zoo team conducts the routine checkups and procedures. She is given food and treats as she waits. The father of the cubs, Felix, lives in a separate enclosure. The cubs were especially curious about the two photographers in the corner of their den during their checkup on Tuesday (including Tennessean photographer Stephanie Amador). While Anne and the cubs are adjusting well to having more people come in and out of their den for checkups, a limited number of zoo staff are the only ones who handle the cubs. The cubs were weighed, examined and given the first of a three-part vaccination series on Tuesday. Schwartz said the cubs get the same vaccinations that pets, including cats, typically receive. They spread out the vaccinations to offset when the natural antibodies the cubs get from their mother subside.
February 21, 2024