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Winners announced for the North Carolina Zoo lion cub naming contest

It’s a prideful day at the North Carolina Zoo. The zoo’s four lion cubs, which are three months old, now have names.


On Sept. 22, the zoo launched a naming contest through its website, which ended Oct. 6. Nearly, 2,000 names were submitted.


Names submitted for the contest had to relate to places in Africa, the natural habitat or natural abilities of lions or the culture of people in African countries where lions are natives.


Zoo keepers picked the winners of the contest. They decided to name the female cubs Savanna and Lololi; the male cubs are named Khari and Kirabo.
Savanna refers to the grasslands in Africa, Lololi means there is always love, Khari means kingly and Kirabo means gift from God.


The winners of the contest are: Katie Mills of Greensboro, Rilee Cowan of Holly Ridge, Julie Higgins of Greensboro and Kim Currin of Oxford. They will receive four free zoo tickets apiece and a lion themed gift bag with items from the zoo’s gift shops. If more than one person submitted the same name chosen as a winner, a drawing was held to determine the winner. All the winners will be notified when they can pick up their prizes.


Savanna, Lololi, Khari and Kirabo are on exhibit at the zoo and can be seen daily with their mother Mekita and father Reilly.

Pronunciations: Lololi (La-LA-lee), Khari (CAR-e) and Kirabo (KIR-a-bo).


The North Carolina Zoo is an agency of the N.C. Department of Environment and Natural Resources, John E. Skvarla, III, Secretary; Pat McCrory, Governor.

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