John Ball Zoo kicks off red panda cubs’ naming contest

Animals

A courtesy photo of John Ball Zoo’s triplet red panda cubs.

GRAND RAPIDS, Mich. (WOOD) — Holland Christian grad and Minnesota Vikings quarterback Kirk Cousins helped kick off John Ball Zoo’s naming contest for its triplet red panda cubs.

In a video posted on the zoo’s website, Cousins announce his name choice of Sparty.

The three girl cubs have three possible names for each:

  • Cub A: Zoë, Rose and Masala
  • Cub B: Sage, Pixie and Ruby
  • Cub C: Ginger, Willow and Sparty

You can cast your vote online for as little as a $1 donation to the zoo. The contest will be open from July 27 to Aug. 30 with the winning names being announced on Sept. 4.

The cubs were born on Thursday, June 25. Their mother, Wasabi and her partner Wyatt are part of a breeding program to help save the endangered red panda. It’s estimated there are fewer than 2,500 adults still in their natural habitat in the Himalayan Mountains, with the population decline blamed on the destruction of bamboo forests.

Wyatt already fathered two cubs at his previous home in Tennessee before coming to Grand Rapids, but this is Wasabi’s first litter.

You can keep up with how they are doing on the zoo’s Facebook page and Instagram account.

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