Oregon Zoo’s Lion Cubs Play in Their Den

After a health scare for one of Neka’s 5-week-old female triplets, keepers at the Oregon Zoo say she appears to be recovering.

The sisters are enjoying romping around and loving on each other — and attacking a stuffed hippo — in their den. We could watch them all day! But, there’s work to be done: these beautiful little girls need names.

"They're all bonding and comfortable with each other, and we're starting to see their personalities. It's time to give them names that match,” said Laura Weiner, senior keeper for the zoo's Africa section.

The keepers have come up with two possible names for each cub, and they’re giving the public the chance to vote until Wednesday.

The suggestions for smallest cub, to whom the keepers often refer as “Little Bit,” are Kamali, the word in Zimbabwe for a spirit that keep animals from death, or Mara, for Kenya’s Maasai Mara National Reserve.

The “middle cub,” as she’s known, has a mild temperament. The possible names for her are Zalika, for her father, Zawadi, who has a similar personality, or Jelani, which is Swahili for "mighty" or "powerful.”

The third cub is the largest, loudest and most assertive of her sisters, earning her the nickname “Feisty.”

"She's huge," Weiner said. "She's definitely more interested in food than the others.”

The suggested names for Feisty are Mashavu, which is Swahili for "chubby-cheeked,” or Angalia, Swahili for "look out" or "be careful."

You can vote here now, and the winning names will be announced on Thursday.


Join the Conversation

Like this article? Have a point of view to share? Let us know!