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Your chance to name two rare Sri Lankan Leopard cubs born at Banham Zoo

PUBLISHED: 13:00 23 December 2017 | UPDATED: 13:34 23 December 2017

Banham Zoo is celebrating the birth of two rare and endangered Sri Lankan leopard cubs by inviting our readers to name them. Photo: Banham Zoo.

Banham Zoo is celebrating the birth of two rare and endangered Sri Lankan leopard cubs by inviting our readers to name them. Photo: Banham Zoo.

Banham Zoo

A popular Norfolk zoo is inviting members of the public to name two newly-born rare and endangered leopard cubs in an exclusive competition with this newspaper to celebrate their arrival.

Banham Zoo is celebrating the birth of two rare and endangered Sri Lankan leopard cubs by inviting our readers to name them. Photo: Helen Sherratt. Banham Zoo is celebrating the birth of two rare and endangered Sri Lankan leopard cubs by inviting our readers to name them. Photo: Helen Sherratt.

Sri Lankan leopard Sariska, their mother, gave birth to the pair in September - the first big cats of their subspecies to be born at Banham Zoo in about 10 years.

With fewer than 1,000 of these endangered animals in the wild, the birth of the cubs has been warmly welcomed by the zookeepers at Banham.

Sri Lankan leopards have bred successfully at the zoo for many years, but this is the first time for Sariska and her mate, Mias.

Michael Woolham, the zoo’s animal manager, said: “It’s very exciting for the zoo. Sariska has so far been a super mother - very attentive and protective. I’m sure the cubs are going to grow up to be very healthy.

Banham Zoo is celebrating the birth of two rare and endangered Sri Lankan leopard cubs by inviting our readers to name them. Photo: Alex Layzell. Banham Zoo is celebrating the birth of two rare and endangered Sri Lankan leopard cubs by inviting our readers to name them. Photo: Alex Layzell.

“Because Banham has a lot of experience with big cats and in particular Sri Lankan leopards, Mias was sent to us with the view that we might be able to persuade him that breeding was a good idea.”

The cubs, now just over three months old, have had their first veterinary check and vaccination and have been identified as two females.

Banham Zoo would like the cubs to be given names associated with Sri Lanka and is inviting our readers to send in their suggestions.

To enter email your suggestions to marketing@zsea.org.

Zookeepers watched the birth of the two Sri Lankan Leopard cubs via a CCTV feed. Photo: Banham Zoo. Zookeepers watched the birth of the two Sri Lankan Leopard cubs via a CCTV feed. Photo: Banham Zoo.

You can enter as many times as you like before the competition closes on Friday, January 5 2018.

The winning names will be selected by the Banham keepers and both competition winners will receive a year’s sponsorship of the named cub which will include a personalised certificate, a photograph, and information on the Sri Lankan leopard cubs.

The competition winners’ names will be shown on a sponsors’ sign near the enclosure, and each will also receive a copy of the Zoological Society of East Anglia Magazine and a free family day out at the zoo.

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