Online bidders name Banham Zoo cubs
A Norfolk zoo has announced the names of three snow leopard cubs that were put up for sale on an internet auction site.
Six months after their birth at Banham Zoo, keepers and visitors now know what to call the new arrivals, which has bolstered the conservation of the endangered animals.
The two female cubs have been named Rebecca and Ziva and the male will be called Margaash after the zoo raised more than �1,400 from an online auction, which will go to the Snow Leopard Trust.
It comes after keepers struggled to come up with names for the cubs, which were born in May, and decided to put the naming rights on eBay to raise funds for the conservation charity.
Two of the highest bidders came from the UK and one was from the USA, said Banham Zoo spokesman Lynne Wilshaw.
'We had quite a lot of bids from across the world with the campaign and the money we have raised for the Snow Leopard trust is brilliant.'
'The cubs are such characters and people spend hours watching them playing. They are beautiful,' she said.
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The chosen names will be registered with the international studbook for snow leopards, and will be a permanent record. Rebecca, Ziva and Margaash will remain at Banham for at least another year when they will be mature enough to be transferred to other zoos within the European breeding programme.
The Norfolk attraction welcomed its first snow leopards 26 years ago and the cubs' parents, Rocky and Enif, have been together since 2008. Enif, who arrived from Tokyo Zoo, Japan, two years ago is one of the top five most important animals listed within the snow leopard breeding programme.