News / Winnipeg

Respondents get bullish on Winnipeg zoo's online bear-naming contest

WINNIPEG — Orphaned male and female polar bear cubs brought to Winnipeg's zoo late last year from the Hudson Bay port town of Churchill are no longer being referred to as just those two bruins.

An online poll conducted last weekend through the Assiniboine Park Conservancy has come up with the name Nanuq for the female and Siku for the male.

Nanuq is the Inuktitut word for polar bear, while Siku means ice.

The winning monikers received nearly 4,000 votes each in the poll and were taken from options submitted by children and staff at the Churchill Children's Centre for the female, and from conservancy employees for the male.

Both lists were examined and narrowed down by the zoo.

The cubs are now on exhibit at the facility's Polar Bear Conservation Centre.

Johanna Soto, curator of animal care and behavioural husbandry at the conservancy, said in a statement they're pleased with the number of people who responded to the poll.

"These cubs serve as ambassadors for polar bears living in the north whose habitat is threatened due to climate change," said Soto. "Involving the community in the naming process helps form that connection to the bears and inspire people to take positive actions in their own lives to combat climate change."

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