Honolulu Zoo lion cubs’ names revealed

Mayor Kirk Caldwell announced the winners of the lion cubs naming contest and revealed the cubs’ new names on Saturday.

After the winning children read their haiku, the lion cubs were released into the exhibit marking their official public debut.

The lion cub haiku winners include:

8-9 year old category

Grady Garzo – 8-year-old 2nd grader at Punahou School

Chose the name for the only male cub, the second-born: Kekoa, which means “brave and courageous.”

His winning haiku:

Lion cubs waiting

Eyes gleaming like golden moons

Hidden in the grass

10-11 year old category

Anela Donachie – 11-year-old 6th grader at La Pietra School

Chose the name for the third-born cub, a female: Alohi, which means “to shine or sparkle.”

Her winning haiku:

Creatures of beauty

Live freely and hunt as one

Lions, fierce and proud

12-13 Year old category

Anuhea Parker – 12-year-old 7th grader at Kamehameha School

Chose the name for the first-born, a female cub: Iolana, which means “to soar.”

Her winning haiku:

Majestic Lion

Fierce as pounding surf, roaring

Like distant thunder

The three cubs were born to mother Moxy and father Ekundu on Dec. 15, 2012. They are healthy and acclimating well.

The lion cubs naming contest was sponsored by the Honolulu Zoological Society.

About 600 children from various schools throughout the state, ages 8-13, submitted their original haiku which were judged by staff from the Honolulu Zoo, Honolulu Zoological Society, and Service Systems Associates.

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