Changing Planet

Seattle Zoo Seeks Name for Snow Leopard

Help choose the name for this furball and be eligible for a prize by taking part in a poll to name one of the newest snow leopards born at Seattle’s Woodland Park Zoo.


The naming poll kicks off today and continues through midnight, August 12. To vote, visit and click on “Name a Snow Leopard Cub.” Ballots also are available at the zoo. All ages are eligible to vote.

The poll offers four Mongolian names in honor of one of 12 countries that is home to the endangered snow leopard:

  • Gobi (go-bee)–Gobi Desert in Mongolia
  • Boke (rhymes with poke)–Strong
  • Irbis (ear-biss)–Leopard
  • Vachir (voch-err)–Thunderbolt

“The cub’s twin sister has been named Batu (pronounced BAH-too), Mongolian for firm, hard, honest,” the zoo said.

“The naming poll invites snow leopard fans ages 18 and older to enter to win a fabulous snow leopard prize package: a 12-month ZooParent adoption (with a plush and certificate); a signed copy of “Saving the Ghost of the Mountain: An Expedition Among Snow Leopards in Mongolia by award-winning author Sy Montgomery; and a commemorative framed photo of the snow leopard cubs,” said a statement released with this photograph.

The cubs were born on Memorial Day to first-time parents. They and their mother remain off public exhibit to ensure continual bonding and proper nursing, the zoo said. “Since snow leopards are solitary animals in the wild, the father is separated and is in the snow leopard exhibit with Nadia, another adult female.”

The winning name will be announced when the cubs make their public debut at noon, Saturday, August 15, during the zoo’ Snow Leopard Day. The annual event is hosted by the zoo and its conservation partner, the Snow Leopard Trust.

The Snow Leopard Trust was created in 1981 by the late Woodland Park Zoo staff member Helen Freeman, the namesake of the mother of the new cubs. “Through innovative programs, effective partnerships, and the latest science, the Snow Leopard Trust is saving these endangered cats and improving the lives of people who live in the snow leopard countries of Central Asia,” the zoo said.

Photo credit: Ryan Hawk

Forty years in U.S., UK, and South African media gives David Braun global perspective and experience across multiple storytelling platforms. His coverage of science, nature, politics, and technology has been published/broadcast by the BBC, CNN, NPR, AP, UPI, National Geographic, TechWeb, De Telegraaf, Travel World, and Argus South African Newspapers. He has published two books and won several journalism awards. He has 120,000 followers on social media. David Braun edits the National Geographic Society blog, hosting a global discussion on issues resonating with the Society's mission and initiatives. He also directs the Society side of the Fulbright-National Geographic Digital Storytelling Fellowship, awarded to Americans seeking the opportunity to spend nine months abroad, engaging local communities and sharing stories from the field with a global audience. Follow David on Facebook  Twitter  LinkedIn
  • Rachel

    Please can I use this image for my project at school? I would really appreciate it



  • Rachel, you should technically ask the photographer for permission. Good luck!

  • Ruben

    You should name her katey she is very cute

  • Victoria howard

    my name is victoria howard hello im a student from st pauls and im doing my gcse and i thought that your photo was very nice and i would like to use it in my website for my gcse my i please use your photo thank you very much.

  • Sir Jack Skinner

    Hello there,
    I would like to ask thy to use ones photograph im my school project, It would be delightful to be given permission.
    Yours sincerely
    Sir Jack Skinner

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