The Honolulu Zoo decided on names for their newborn lion cubs: Kekoa, Alohi and Iolana. They’re beautiful names for such beautiful creatures obviously never seen in Hawaiian forests. At the zoo, however, they’re quite the hit.

Kekoa means “brave and courageous;” Alohi means “to shine or sparkle;” and Iolana means “to soar. Zoo officials opened a naming contest to children, who submitted their suggestions as well as a haiku poem. The community had a chance to name another breed of newborns, the pumbaas of the zoo.

I love the idea of a naming contest that gets the community involved in all the good stuff happening at this Honolulu facility. Visitors can also participate; otherwise, they’re sure to learn a Hawaiian word or two from such contests. It may take some practice in pronouncing them, though. But with practice comes perfection, and soon, visitors will be able to add a few Hawaiian words to their collection.

The zoo itself has been improving continuously over the years. We’ve seen several major animal births and newly-renovated exhibits pop up recently. There’s always some kind of event happening, too. I can’t think of a better way for animal lovers to spend their time in the islands. Be sure to visit the Honolulu Zoo in Waikiki and meet the newest keiki (children) of the family.

Photo Courtesy: Honolulu Zoo Facebook

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