New Orleans,
10:49 AM

Audubon Zoo Asking Public to Help Name Lion Cubs

Ever wanted to name a lion cub? Animal care staff at Audubon Zoo have narrowed their selection of names for the Zoos new cubs down to their top three favorites and are asking the public’s help to decide the final two by placing their vote in a poll beginning today, April 1, and ending on, April 8 at 5p.m. The poll is being hosted HERE on the Zoo's website.   

"The lion cubs belong to everyone in New Orleans. What better way to celebrate that than by asking our community to help choose their names, and make them a part of their lives forever, says Curator of Large Mammals Joe Forys. 

Supporters are asked to choose between three names, the top two will be selected. All the names chosen were chosen by animal care staff and have a unique and special meaning.

  • Haji, pronounced “Haa-jee is Swahili for journey, and represents the time Audubon and New Orleans waited for the Roar to Return to the Zoo and how exciting we are not only to have a pride, but also to welcome the new cubs. 
  • Radi, pronounced “Rah-dee, is Swahili for thunder, and represents the stormy New Orleans morning the cubs were born. 
  • Asani, pronounced “Ah-sah-nee," is Swahili for rebellious, and represents the personality of the more strong-willed of the two cubs,who will be given this name if chosen. 

The two male cubs were born on the morning of Saturday, January 11, to mom Kali,four, and dad Arnold,four. The cubs’ birth is important for theLion Species Survival Plan,which ensures healthy, genetically diverse populations of lions within Association of Zoos and Aquariums-accredited institutions. Half of Africa’s lions have disappeared in the past 25 years, and the species faces growing threats from poaching, loss of prey, and habitat destruction. 

Kali and the cubshave been behind the scenes of their habitat, that was made possible through a generous gift from Joy and Boysie Bollinger, to give them time to bond, receive vaccinations, and be gradually introduced to the rest of the pride. Supporters can continue to follow their progress on Audubon social media platforms. 

While Audubon facilities are closed, help support the dedicated staff who continue to provide outstanding care for the animals and the parks loved by the New Orleans community by donating to Audubon’s recovery efforts. 

The community can also support Audubon’s work with this endangered species by symbolically “adopting” an Audubon lion. A $25 adopt purchase will provide much-needed revenue to support Audubon’s critical operations while closed due to COVID-19. Adoption purchases come with a printable digital certificate with the name of the adoptive “parent” and make great gifts for kids of all ages. Please note that all adoptable animals may have many adoptive parents, and all adoptable animals remain in their Audubon homes.


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Audubon Nature Institute

Audubon Nature Institute operates a family of museums, parks and research facilities dedicated to celebrating the wonders of nature. Through innovative live animal exhibits, education programs, and scientific discovery, Audubon makes a meaningful contribution to preserving wildlife for the future. Audubon Nature Institute flagships include Audubon Park, Audubon Zoo, Audubon Aquarium of the Americas, Entergy Giant Screen Theater, Audubon Butterfly Garden and Insectarium, Audubon Louisiana Nature Center, Freeport-McMoRan Audubon Species Survival Center, Woldenberg Riverfront Park and Audubon Wilderness Park. Ron Forman is President and CEO of Audubon Nature Institute.