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Help Name Indianapolis Zoo's Lion Cub Trio

1_Cubs 5wks-Jackie Curts

ZooBorns recently shared the Indianapolis Zoo’s excitement in welcoming three adorable new African Lion cubs. Two males and a female were born on September 21. They are the first lion cubs born at the Indy Zoo since 2003.

The Zoo is now asking for help selecting names for the feisty cubs. The public can cast their vote in a Facebook poll. Zookeepers originally preselected nine names, but they have narrowed that list to six for the public vote. The three most popular names will become the names for the cubs.


The selected names, along with their pronunciation and meaning, are:

Enzi (ehn-ZEE), “powerful”

Mashaka (mash-AH-kah), “troublemaker”

Zuberi (zuw-BEH-ree), “strong”

Leland (LEE-lahnd), “meadowland”

Sukari (sue-CAR-ee), “sweet”

Niara (nee-AH-rah), “one with high purpose”


The poll opened at 5am on November 3rd, and voting will close at 11:59pm on Monday, November 30th. The results will be announced on December 1st.

Voting is taking place on the Indianapolis Zoo’s Facebook page:

Facebook users who “like” the Indianapolis Zoo’s page can vote once per day. Additionally, one lucky fan will be chosen at random to receive an Indianapolis Zoo prize pack, which includes a lion plush and a family four-pack of Zoo tickets.

2_Cub 2-Jackie Curts

3_Female cub-Jackie Curts

4_Cub-Jackie CurtsPhoto Credits: Jackie Curts

First-time mother Zuri and her trio of cubs continue to do well. They will remain in a private indoor area to protect the newborns’ health. Zoo veterinarians and keepers are pleased with the cubs’ progress. In the six weeks since their birth, the cubs have more than doubled in size and currently weigh between 11.9 and 15.3 pounds.

Keepers have noticed the feisty felines are starting to develop their own personalities. They enjoy playing together — and with mom’s tail — and they have also begun exhibiting some stalking behaviors.

The new family makes its debut in spring 2016 in the newly renovated lion exhibit, where new glass windows and expanded viewing areas will allow visitors to get closer to the lions than ever before. 

5_Cub stalking-Jackie Curts