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Zoo gives round of ‘a-paws’ for Zulu and Zalika

Zoo gives round of ‘a-paws’ for Zulu and Zalika

The hunt for names for Auckland Zoo's two new lion cubs is over! Keepers have chosen the names Zulu and Zalika, from hundreds of names suggested through a phone-in naming competition.

Zulu was a favourite for half a dozen Aucklanders as the name for the male, but Claire Parkinson of Hillsborough was the lucky one to be drawn out of the hat.

Zalika, meaning well-born, was suggested by Sandra Harvey and family of Remuera, for the female.

"They're both good strong names with a distinctively African feel. The cubs are from great new bloodlines and are extremely healthy, and well-born, so both names are a good fit," says Michael Batty, Auckland Zoo Pridelands team leader.

Both winners receive a special 'behind the scenes' tour with their family, a 'Friends of the Zoo' year pass and a 'Best of The Zoo Five' video.

Zulu and Zalika (born on 4 March) both now weigh just over 9kg, and with encouragement from mum Amira, ventured outside at Lion Hill for the first time this week. "As long as the weather is good, they will go out for short periods each day from now on, most likely somewhere between 11am - 2pm," says Mr Batty.

The zoo is still waiting on the results of DNA tests to confirm parentage. Dad is either Lazarus or Ngala, both of whom arrived from South Africa's Cango Wildlife Ranch in Oudtshoorn, just over a year ago. Lazarus is of wild-origin from the Kalahari Desert, and Ngala is from parents from Eastern Transvaal outside Kruger National Park.

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