Henry Doorly’s lion cubs named

By: KLKN Newsroom

Omaha, NE (February 16, 2015) – Omaha’s Henry Doorly Zoo and Aquarium has named the two male and one female African lion cubs after hosting a week-long naming contest on its website, OmahaZoo.com

The winning names and the entrants of the names are as follows: 

MALES • Kayode (white cub), meaning “He Brought Joy”; submitted by Samantha Cobb • Shango, meaning “Yoruba God of Thunder and Lighting”; submitted by Jamie Simpson 

FEMALE • Kimani, meaning “Beauty” or “One Who is Beautiful and Sweet”; submitted by Jeanne Mehser 

The names, all of African descent, were chosen by the keepers who care for the cubs out of the 1,824 that were submitted online. 

Each winner will receive a Zoo-themed gift basket and painting from the cub they helped name. 

The three cubs, born on November 21, 2014, can be found on display with their mother, Ahadi, and aunt, Mfisha, in the Cat Complex. 

As of last week, each of the cubs weighed about 30 pounds. 

They are of the subspecies krugeri. 

This is the focus of the Association of Zoos and Aquariums’ (AZA) Felid Taxon Advisory Group to concentrate zoo efforts nationwide to breed lions of known lineage. 

There have been 43 African lion births in the last 12 months at North American AZA-accredited institutions, including the new cubs. 

One of the male cubs was born white in color, which is rare and a first for Omaha’s Henry Doorly Zoo and Aquarium. 

The inheritance patterns of the white coat are not fully understood, according to the Zoo’s Conservation Genetics Department. 

It is thought that a very rare recessive gene from each parent is the cause, resulting in decreased pigmentation. 

White lions originate from Timbavati, an area in Krueger National Park in South Africa.