At almost three months old, the Columbus Zoo and Aquarium's popular baby polar bear is doing well and is ready to be named. The polar bear, which was born at the zoo in November, has become a social media sensation, with videos of the polar bear being viewed millions of times on the zoo's Facebook page.
The zoo has narrowed the choice of names down to four:
Densa (which means boss)
Nora (from her parents Nanuq and Aurora)
Kaya (which means little but wise)
Sakari (which means sweet)
The polar bear is still receiving around-the-clock care from the zoo's animal hospital. The zoo says it hopes to allow visitors to see her in the spring, but will follow her cue.
Aurora, the mother of the cub, had two baby cubs, but only one survived. The survival rate for polar bears is 50 percent, according to the Columbus Zoo.
Because of the melting of the polar ice caps, the polar bear population of 20,000 to 25,000 could dwindle to less than 10,000 by 2050.
"Polar bears need our help," the zoo's CEO Tom Stalf said. "We are committed to doing everything we can at the zoo, as well as supporting conservation initiatives for wild populations, to save these animals for generations to come."
The zoo is accepting votes on the polar bear's name through Feb. 3. The results will be announced Feb. 5.
"I'm ready for my close-up!" Help us name our polar bear girl on this Wild Wednesday! The Columbus Zoo and Aquarium team has selected their top choices and would like your help to choose the best one. Vote for your favorite here every day through Feb. 3 => columbuszoo.org/namethecub #WildWed
Posted by Columbus Zoo and Aquarium on Wednesday, January 20, 2016
Justin Boggs is a writer for the E.W. Scripps National Desk. Follow him on Twitter @jjboggs.