Help Name a Baby Koala

By Michelle Wayland
|  Thursday, Feb 3, 2011  |  Updated 4:17 PM PDT
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The San Diego Zoo is asking for the public’s help to name a baby koala. But mom gets the final say.

“This year the naming is a bit more challenging. Why? We don't know if the joey is a boy or a girl,” said zoo spokesperson Jenny Mehlow.

To get around the issue, the zoo came up with some Aboriginal words that could serve as a name for a male or a female.

“Which is tougher than it might sound,” said Mehlow.

Here they are:

  • Cambee ("blankets")
  • Jumbunna ("talk together")
  • Gummy ("spear")
  • Cuddelee ("dog")
  • Andi ("who")
  • Aroo (fan made of emu tail feathers)
  • Panda ("heart")

The public’s vote will help the zoo narrow down their list to three names and then mom will get to pick the final name.

“On the opening day of Koalapalooza, the three names will be placed on three different "trees" inside Yabber's habitat. Then, at about 10:30 a.m., a keeper will gently set Mom (with the joey in the pouch) on the ground of the exhibit, and the tree she chooses to climb will be the name for the joey in her pouch,” said Mehlow.

The four-day event runs Feb. 18 to Feb. 21. Vote here.

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