These are the names of Edinburgh Zoo's three lion cubs as chosen by Evening News readers

The three Asiatic lion cubs were born in August.

Tuesday, 12th November 2019, 11:45 am

The names for Edinburgh zoo's three 12-week-old Asiatic lion cubs have been revealed, as chosen by Edinburgh Evening News readers.

The names were chosen by readers last week in a narrow online poll.

The two male cubs will be called Keshari (lion, saffron) and Kushanu (fire), which the girl cub will be named Mitaali (graceful or beautiful).

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The three Asiatic lions have now been named. Picture: Laura Moore/RZSS
The three Asiatic lions have now been named. Picture: Laura Moore/RZSS

These three names won 39% of the vote in the poll, which closed yesterday.

They were narrowly followed by the second option, with 37% of the vote, to call the girl Sikara (brave one), and the boys Manushri (King of Earth) and Kunwar (prince).

The final option, with 24% of the vote, was for the girl to be named Shafali (beautiful flower) and the boys Trusanu (ancient king) and Chandu (moon).

The poll received almost 1,200 votes from members of the public.

Picture: Sian Addison

The names, suggested by keepers at the zoo, are Gujarati, from the Gir forest in Gujarat, western India, where Asiatic lions are found.

The cubs were born to ‘affectionate and protective’ mum Roberta, who came to Edinburgh Zoo from Magdeburg Zoo in Germany in 2014, and dad Jayendra, who arrived from Bristol Zoo in 2012.

Both adult lions are part of the European endangered species program.

The wild population of Asiatic lions is estimated to be only around 350, with the endangered species at risk from poaching, loss of habitat and declining numbers of prey.

Picture: Sian Addison