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John Ball Zoo raises $13K for red panda naming contest

The cubs' names are Willow, Ruby and Rose.
Credit: Courtesy of John Ball Zoo
Willow, Ruby, and Rose.

GRAND RAPIDS, Mich. — The three newest additions officially have names!

The John Ball Zoo announced Friday that the naming contest for the trio of new red panda cubs is over and their names have been decided. 

The cubs are now named Willow, Ruby, and Rose. 

The donations from the naming contest raised a total of $13,124 for red panda conservation. More than 400 different voters from 20 different states, plus voters from Canada and the United Kingdom. 

The cubs were born back in June to Wyatt and Wasabi. These cubs are the first for Wasabi — Wyatt already fathered two cubs in 2016 while at Chattanooga Zoo. 

RELATED: Not 1, not 2, but 3 new cubs! John Ball Zoo announces birth of red panda triplets

The cubs have spent the last several weeks in the maternity den bonding with Wasabi. 

The red panda birth is significant for John Ball Zoo and the red panda species. Red pandas are endangered and it is believed there are less than 2,500 adult red pandas left in the wild. 

Wyatt and Wasabi were matched as part of the Red Panda Species Survival Program. The program's primary role is to breed select endangered or threatened species.

Wasabi and the cubs will remain behind the scenes bonding for several weeks, but John Ball Zoo said it will keep the community updated on social media, like Facebook and Instagram.

(Pause at 0:06 for a surprise!)


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