Since July, the newborn Red Panda cubs have been seen by millions of people online, visited by thousands on International Red Panda Day, and the wholesome social media content everyone has needed. Now is the time for the community to get their chance to voice their opinions and help name the cubs!
The Utica Zoo announced that their naming contest has now opened and community members have a chance to vote on their names. The one male and one female cub have 3 prospective sets of names; Kai and Lienna, Yingtao and Xiao Mei, and Xiabo and Mei Lin. Voters can vote at UticaZoo.org/redpandanamecontest for as little as a $1 donation to the Zoo. For every dollar donated, a vote will be recorded. Donate $50, and 50 votes will be recorded. All proceeds from the naming contest will be used to care for the full family of Red Pandas at the Zoo and provide food, enrichment, veterinary care, exhibit upgrades, or anything else they may need throughout the winter. All donations will be processed via PayPal for security.
“The cubs have been stars since they were born so we wanted to have the community be involved in naming them,” said Mark Simon, Marketing Coordinator at the Utica Zoo. “Our keepers did a ton of research into Chinese names and found some really beautiful names that correspond nicely with their ‘animal personalities’ so we are excited to offer these name options to the public. Plus, it is a great way to help support the animals and our mission here at the Zoo. Red Pandas are endangered animals and with the support of our community, we can help in the fight against extinction.”
The voting window will be open for 2 weeks and the winning names will be announced on November 20. The cubs are now able to explore their exhibit space and can be seen on exhibit at select times throughout the day.