Zoo's jaguar cubs get names from avid fans

The jaguar cubs with are seen with their mother, Stella, last November.

The jaguar cubs with are seen with their mother, Stella, last November. Photo By C.T. Kruger

March 13, 2013

You can now call the Milwaukee County Zoo's two jaguar cubs B'alam and Zean. The cubs' new names were ceremoniously revealed in a special event today at the zoo.

B'alam, which is Mayan for jaguar and means "great and powerful king," was named by Maureen Zwirbel, a Virginia woman who participated in a naming contest that had more than 1,300 entries. Zwirbel enjoyed watching the cubs on the zoo's cub webcam, which had been monitoring the young jaguars. She has also sent items for the young cats to play with from a wish list created by the zoo.

The name Zean, derived from the last four letters of Belizean (referring to residents of the Central American country Belize), was chosen by Belize students who co-authored a book titled "Pat the Great Cat, a Jaguar's Journey." The fictional story encompasses the cubs' real father.

The children co-wrote the book with Milwaukee area students as part of Student Historical Art Resource Program.

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