Friday, January 30, 2015

Meet Gina, Gira and Gita - Helsinki Zoo’s new lion cubs.

News |

Helsinki’s Korkeasaari Zoo has decided on names for its new trio of lion cubs born to endangered Asiatic lions. In December zookeepers reached out to the public to find suitable names that would reflect their Indian origins and came up with Gina, Gira and Gita.

Korkeasaaren leijonanpennut saivat intialaiset nimet.
Korkeasaaren leijonanpennut saivat intialaiset nimet. Image: Korkeasaari/ Mari Lehmonen
The Asiatic lion triplets have been blissfully unaware of their status as nameless zoo residents. However when zoo officials at Korkeasaari invited the general public help find appropriate names for the cubs, they received a flood of suggestions – some 7,500.
The names that their keepers eventually selected were elegant, short and duly reminiscent of their Indian background – the first Asiatic lions were came to Helsinki in 1992 as gifts of the Indian government.
The names selected for the three mischievous kittens are Gina, a derivative of Gir, a national park in India and another home of the endangered species; Gina, which means “powerful woman”; and Gita, or “a song”.
Altogether zookeepers received 200 proposals for the name Gina, while Gira and Gita were less popular choices with scores of votes.
With or without names, the trio of pups are becoming increasingly confident exploring their surroundings – albeit under the watchful eyes of their parents. However the chilly winter weather has seen them spending a great deal of time in the warmth of their inner enclosures.
The ancestors of these sprightly pups were among nine majestic lions donated to European zoos. Currently about 100 animals live in captivity in Europe. Their numbers in the wild currently stand at about 350.

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