Jacksonville Zoo asks public to vote for new tiger cub name

Jacksonville, Fla. — You can vote to help name one of the Jacksonville Zoo’s new Malayan tiger cubs. It welcomed the birth of one boy and two girls November 5th. One of the girls still needs a name.

From January 17-31, you can vote for your favorite name for a $5 donation here. As a non-profit organization, donations directly support the care and feeding of the Zoo’s animals, and the protection of animals and plants around the world. The Zoo is matching up to $20,000 in donations through the naming contest. The name that raises the most funds will be the selected name for the female cub.

The cub’s Care Specialists have chosen five names with South Asian origin as an homage to the Malayan tiger species: Nayla (NAY-la) meaning a winner, or one who goes ahead to get everything; Mina (MEEnah) meaning one who is unrelenting and determined; Seniya (seh-NI-yah) meaning one who is praiseworthy; Indah (IN-dah) meaning beautiful one; and finally, Cahya (KAI-yah or ka-HI-yah) meaning one who is the light in darkness.

The two other siblings have been named by generous donors; the male is Machli (MOCK-lee), a world-renown tiger of the Ranthambore National Park, and the female is Beppy, named after a beloved family member.

Born to first-time father, Bashir, and third-time mother, Cinta, the cubs are the first Malayan tigers to be born at the Zoo. Not yet on exhibit, the cubs continue to bond well with mom behind-the-scenes. Until certain milestones are reached, a live video stream of the cub den will be shown.

“Our newest Malayan tiger ambassadors are a significant addition to the sustainability of their critically endangered species,” said Nikki Jackson Smith, Chief Philanthropy and Community Engagement Officer at Jacksonville Zoo and Gardens. “We are proud of our contribution in ensuring a viable and diverse population and want to share the honor with the community, and this cub naming is a great way for us to connect guests with wildlife and wild places.”

The zoo says there are estimated to be fewer than 150 Malayan tigers left in the wild. Jacksonville Zoo and Gardens partners with the International Rhino Foundation (IRF), which organizes a Wildlife Protection Unit in Bukit Barisan Selatan National Park in Sumatra, Indonesia. Made up of six wildlife rangers, the Wildlife Protection Unit patrols the forest removing snares, arresting poachers and documenting additional illegal activity to protect tigers, rhinos, elephants and many other animals that reside in the forest. A portion of admission and memberships directly support organizations like the IRF.

April Davis

April Davis, News 104.5 WOKV

April Davis is WOKV’s News Director and Morning Co-anchor of Jacksonville’s Morning News on News 104.5. April joined WOKV in 2023 after more than 20 years as a reporter, anchor and manager at TV and radio stations in Alaska, Alabama, the Carolinas, Colorado, and Georgia.

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