CLEVELAND — The snow leopard cub at the Akron Zoo has a new name after she chose from a list of names voted on by the public and the winner is “Baya.”
Friday morning, the cub and her mother, Shanti, were presented with three balls that had the top three names painted on them. The ball that was touched first by either leopard would be the winner.
The cub was the first to touch a ball, the one with the name Baya painted on it.
Baya was born in April to first-time father Tai Lung and to mom, Shanti, who previously welcomed two cubs in 2012, two cubs in 2014 and three cubs in 2016.
Akron Zoo officials said in June that the cub had been born with a congenital eye defect that is relatively common among snow leopards but that might require corrective surgery in the future.
The cub's name is Nepali for Tamchy Bay on Lake Issuk Kul, in the region where the only rehabilitation center for snow leopards exists in Kyrgyzstan.
Baya made her debut in the snow leopard habitat Saturday so visitors are able to see the cub when they head to the zoo.