You can help choose the names for Edinburgh Zoo's new lion cubs in this poll

Edinburgh Zoo has welcomed three baby Asiatic lions to the world, and now is your chance to help decide what the 12-week-old cubs will be called.

Wednesday, 6th November 2019, 12:12 am
Updated Thursday, 7th November 2019, 8:39 am

The zoo’s keepers have put forward a list of possible names for Edinburgh locals to choose from, in the wish that Edinburgh locals engage with the endangered species.

The cubs, two boys and a girl, were born to mum Roberta and Dad Jayendra on August 15.

At first they were very shy of human visitors, and refused to come outside, preferring to remain in the sanctuary of the indoor section of their enclosure, closed to visitors to give the new family some privacy.

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But as they get older the cubs are becoming more adventurous, and are starting to come out and play in their outdoor area, where lucky visitors can catch a glimpse of the cubs and their mum and dad.

They are even beginning to come further down towards the viewing area where visitors to the enclosure stand.

The cubs passed their 10-week health check from keepers, and now at 12 weeks it is time for them to be named.

Keepers have put forward three options for Edinburgh locals to choose from.

The lion cubs to be named by Edinburgh Evening News readers. Picture: Laura Moore\RZSS.
The lion cubs to be named by Edinburgh Evening News readers. Picture: Laura Moore\RZSS.

All the names are Gujarati, from the Gir forest in Gujarat, western India, where Asiatic lions are found.

The first option is to call the girl Mitaali (graceful or beautiful) and the boys Keshari (lion, saffron) and Kushanu (fire).

The second is to call the girl Sikara (brave one), and the boys Manushri (King of Earth) and Kunwar (prince).

The final option is for the girl to be named Shafali (beautiful flower) and the boys Trusanu (ancient king) and Chandu (moon).

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 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.

Asiatic lions are generally smaller than African lions, and males do not have such a large mane.

Vote for your favourite option for the lion cubs’ names in our online poll at www.edinburghnews.scotsman.com.

The poll will close at 5pm on Monday 11 November, and results will be announced in the paper the following day.