At the Woodland Park Zoo in Seattle, new father Junior will have the opportunity to name his son on Father’s Day. Junior and his partner Nayla became proud parents of triplets back in March. The two female cubs will be named privately, but the male cub will be named in a special ceremony on Sunday.
Zookeepers selected three names original to the jaguar’s native South American range:
1. Cruz, in reference to Bolivia’s Santa Cruz zoo where Junior was born
2. Tlaloc, Aztec meaning “from the earth”
3. Kuwan, from the Hopi Tribe meaning “butterfly showing beautiful wings”
The three names will be individually paired with tasty, enticing piñatas and displayed for Junior in Jaguar Cove during the naming ceremony. The piñatas will be stuffed with his favorite meats: chicken and ground turkey. Junior will decide his son’s name by selecting which piñata to open.
The piñatas are part of the zoo’s enrichment program, which stimulates the animals’ senses, promotes natural animal behavior and often rewards the animals with tasty, nutritious treats.
To follow the three cubs’ progress, visit the Woodland Park Zoo’s blog.
UPDATE: After some deliberation, Junior chose the name KUWAN!