A pair of Aldergrove’s cutest red furry twins need names, and the public’s being invited to help.
Two red pandas, one a girl, one a boy, were born in captivity in mid-June at the Greater Vancouver Zoo.
And now, the zoo is in the midst of a contest to find names for the pair, explained the zoo’s Menita Prasad, the deputy general manager and director of animal care.
“We are very excited to announce that the time has come for us to name our two red panda cubs,” she said.
“We have watched their personalities come alive over the last few months,” Prasad explained, noting the male is a little larger and quite a bit more independent than his sister, while she is more curious but sticks close to mom and dad.
The naming contest started last Thursday, Feb. 16 and ends on Sunday, March 26.
“We are encouraging everyone to come see them as the explore and play their new environment and learn how to be red pandas,” Prasad said.
The infant cubs were born to Sakura, a red panda who came to Aldergrove in March 2021, after six years at the Calgary Zoo. She joined long-time resident red panda Arun and the zoo’s conservation breeding program.
Red pandas are a decreasing endangered species, native to the eastern Himalayas in Nepal, Bhutan, and China. They live to be roughly 12 years old, and according to the World Wildlife Foundation, there are fewer than 10,000 left on the planet.
These two relative newbies are the only red panda cubs born in B.C. – so far – and Prasad hopes contest entrants will keep that fact in mind when suggesting names.
“You can submit as many times as you like, but only two names will be chosen. There will be two winners,” she said.
“We’re hoping we’ll find names they’l carry with them through the rest of their lives on their conservation journey,” Prasad added.
Once the two names are selected for the red panda cubs, the winners will each receive an exclusive grand prize pack, which includes a membership, Grizzly gifts prize pack, and an exclusive behind the scenes meet and greet with the entire red panda family.
Judges for the names will include the Prasad, as well as a few special guest. They will announce the winners on Friday, April 7.
People can visit gvzoo.com/namingcontest for entry.
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