Zoo Asks Facebook Fans To Name New Sloth Bear Cub

9:35 AM, May 1, 2013   |    comments
sloth bear cub (Smithsonian’s National Zoo)
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WASHINGTON (WUSA9) -- If you're a Facebook fan of the Smithsonian National Zoo, then you have a chance to vote for the name of a sloth bear cub.

Wednesday, the zoo started a poll for fans to vote for one of three name choices based on the cub's traits, personality and characteristics: http://www.facebook.com/nationalzoo

The three names are:

• Ravi, which in the Hindi language means "sun." The cub was born on December 19, just in time for the winter solstice, say officials.

• Bandar, which is the Hindi word for "monkey." The cub has become increasingly active, ballancing himself on logs and climbing the mesh in his enclosure, according to officials.

• Hank, which honors his parents. Officials say keepers suggested the name because it would be a combination of Hana and Francois (a.k.a. Frank).

The voting period ends on Friday, and the zoo will announce the winning name on Facebook shortly after voting ends.

According to officials, sloth bear cubs usually stay with their mother for two or three years. They usually ride on their mother's backs by holding on to the mother's long fur.

Officials say sloth bear populations in their native Bhutan, India, Nepal and Sri Lanka are dwindling due to loss of habitat and poaching.

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