Name the cub: Seneca Park Zoo launches contest for new snow leopard cub


(Seneca Park Zoo photo)

ROCHESTER, N.Y. (WROC) — You can now vote on the name for the Seneca Park Zoo’s snow leopard cub!

Since the naming contest was launched earlier this year, there have been more than 750 submissions from community members, but of those hundreds, only three remain.

The finalist names are:

1. Tashi (means “Good luck/fortune” in Tibetan)
2. Sabu (means “snow leopard” in Tibetan)
3. Kenji (means “strong” in Himalayam)

You can vote online here.

The cub was born in April, to mother Timila, the zoo’s 4-year-old snow leopard. It was Timila’s second birth at the zoo with 10-year-old male Kaba. Shortly after the cub was born, the decision was made to hand raise him as he recovered from the respiratory illness.

The young animal became a bit of a local celebrity throughout the summer when the zoo launched a 24/7 “Cub Cam” that showed the leopard in an indoor habitat as it nursed back to health. The Cub Cam ended earlier this month as the animal’s condition improved enough so it could be moved to an outside habitat.

“Thank you to the hundreds of residents who submitted names for our snow leopard cub naming contest,” said Monroe County Executive Adam Bello. “Now we need your help making a final decision. I encourage everyone to vote and look forward to seeing which name our community picks. I am grateful to the staff of the Seneca Park Zoo for their tremendous work making sure the little guy is thriving and healthy.”

“We have been amazed by the number of great names that were submitted by zoo guests,” said Seneca Park Zoo director Steve Lacy. “As the little cub grows and develops, he begins to express more of his own personality, and it has become clear that a few names really stand out as great names for him and reflect some of the great characteristics of the cub and our county. As we celebrate the bicentennial of Monroe County, it’s fitting that the cub’s name reflect the characteristics that make Monroe County an amazing place to call home.”

“At 5 months old, and 22 pounds, the cub has grown into a normal, healthy, happy snow leopard,” said Seneca Park Zoo Assistant Director for Animal Care and Conversation Dr. Louis DiVincenti. “We look forward to giving him access to the public habitat very soon.”

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