PORTLAND -- The Oregon Zoo s three little lion cubs have new names.

The six-week-old female cubs will now go by the names Kamali, Zalika and Angalia, the zoo said Thursday. Over 15,000 votes were tallied (results below) from a public naming contest that allowed people to pick one of two choices for each cub.

Previously the cubs had been referred to as Nos. 7, 8 and 9.

Kamali is the smallest cub in the litter. She suffered from health problems earlier in Oct. and her name comes from Zimbabwe folk lore for a spirit that protects babies, zoo officials said.

Zalika is the middle sized cub who has a 'mild temperament,' according to zoo keepers. Her name is Swahili for well-born.

Angalia is the largest of the little lions. Her new name is a Swahili word for look out, or be careful. Previously she had been nicknamed Feisty.

Slideshow: Oregon Zoo lion cubs

The cubs all have distinct personalities, and now they have names to match, said Laura Weiner, senior keeper for the zoo s Africa section.

The cubs were born on Sept 7. and are part of the zoo s captive breeding program. They also ventured out of their den for the first time this week (video below).

Their parents are Zawadi and Neka.

Votes tallied:

  • Cub No. 7 Kamali: 11,281 (74 percent) Mara: 3,953 (26 percent)

  • Cub No. 8 Zalika: 11,440 (75 percent) Jelani: 3,794 (25 percent)

  • Cub No. 9 Mashavu: 7,344 (48 percent) Angalia: 7,890 (52 percent)

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