The snow leopard cubs that were born on May 14, 2012 at the Akron Zoo now have names.
David Barnhardt Director of Marketing & Guest Services at Akron Zoo says that many people voted for the chance to name the cubs.
"We've had over 3800 people vote and the two winning names were Sabu and Raj."
The zoo narrowed the names down to five choices for people to vote on from August 10-20, 2012.
Barnhardt said the cubs' names had special meaning attached to them.
"When we do our naming contests, we try to have some educational value within the name, and so Sabu, which was our highest submitted name means snow leopard and Raj means king or ruler in India."
Both Sabu and Raj are on exhibit daily from 10:15-11:45 a.m.
Snow leopards are an endangered species and there are fewer then 4,000 in the wild.
The snow leopard cubs that were born on May 14, 2012 at the Akron Zoo now have names. A public naming contest, with over 3,852 votes, concluded Monday, August 20, 2012 and the two names with the most votes are Sabu (Sah boo) and Raj (rah j).
The zoo narrowed the names down to five choices for people to vote on from August 10-20, 2012. All the names had ties to either snow leopards or their habitat. Sabu, which received 974 votes, is the Tibetan word for snow leopard and Raj, which got 920 votes, means king or ruler in India. The non-winning names were Tai (tie), which means mountain in Mongolic language and is where the snow leopards inhabit; Layan (LAY-an) which is short for Himalayan Mountains, where snow leopards are indigenous to, and also means gentle and soft; and Kovo (cove-O) meaning strong in India.
Sabu and Raj are currently on exhibit daily from 10:15 – 11:45 a.m. They will continue to be on exhibit everyday during those hours for the time being until they are bigger and can be out longer.
Everyone that had the winning combination of names was entered into a drawing and one person was selected to win a sponsorship of the cubs for one year which includes a certificate, a photo and a stuffed snow leopard toy. The snow leopard cub naming contest had even more votes than the popular octopus naming contest the zoo held earlier this summer, which garnered 2,220 votes.
Snow leopards are an endangered species and only nine cubs have been born this year that are part of the Association of Zoos and Aquariums (AZA) Species Survival Plan (SSP) in the United States. Snow leopards are endangered primarily due to loss of habitat, illegal poaching for their pelts and body parts and killings by local herders when a snow leopard has preyed on their livestock. There are only 155 snow leopards in the SSP in the U.S. and there are believed to be as few as 4,000 left in the wild