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Published: Saturday, 6/9/2007

Toledo Zoo announces polar bear cubs names

The Toledo Zoo s three polar bear cubs finally have names.

The male cub, born to Nan on Nov. 21, 2006, will be known as Nikita. Two females, born to Crystal four days later, will be called Aurora and Anana, the zoo announced yesterday.

More than 6,000 votes were cast through the zoo s Web site to help select the names.

Animal-care staff members chose the names mostly to reflect the Russian and Inuit heritage of the people who live nearest to polar bears in the wild, a zoo statement said.

Nikita refers to Nikita Ovsyanikov, a noted Russian polar bear researcher. Aurora is the name of the Roman goddess of the dawn; it was chosen in reference to the aurora borealis, or Northern Lights. Anana is from Inuit and means beautiful.

Nikita, Aurora, and Anana can be seen in the zoo s Arctic Encounter, with one family group on exhibit from 10 a.m. to 1 p.m., and the second group on exhibit from 1 to 4:30 p.m. The line to see the cubs closes each day at 3:55 p.m.

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