Three Asiatic lion cubs born in August at The Royal Zoological Society of Scotland’s Edinburgh Zoo have been named following a public vote.
Keepers at the wildlife conservation charity drew up a shortlist of names, inspired by the Gir forest in western India where the endangered species are found, before voters picked their favourites.
Now 13 weeks old, the female cub has been named Mitaali, which means graceful or beautiful, and the two males Keshari, meaning lion or saffron, and Kushanu which means fire.
Andrew Laing, one of the zoo’s senior animal keepers, said, “We’re thrilled over 1,000 people voted to name our adorable lion cubs.
“Conservation is at the heart of what we do and it is fantastic to see our cubs helping to raise awareness of the threats Asiatic lions face in the wild.”
Recent estimates of the wild population of Asiatic lions range between 350 and 650 individuals, with threats including poaching, habitat destruction and conflict with humans. Asiatic lions previously existed across southwest Asia but are now only found in the Gir forest.