Palm Beach Zoo to call its jaguar Maya

Public chose name for 2-month-old cub

By C. Ron Allen
South Florida Sun-Sentinel
January 6, 2009

The youngest jaguar at the Palm Beach Zoo now has a name.

After more than 1,900 suggested names in an online naming contest, zoo officials and a panel of judges Monday selected Maya as the cub’s official moniker.

Officials narrowed the list of names to five and the public chose Maya over Akantha, Suma, Tula and Jasmine.

Maya received 1,219 of the 2,459 votes cast, according to the zoo’s Web site.

“Everyone wanted that name for her,” said Claudia Harden, the zoo’s marketing manager.

David Lipps, a nurse from Stuart, suggested the name. He will receive dinner for six — valued at $600 — at the zoo catered by the Ritz-Carlton and goodies including a one-year membership to the Big Cat Society.

“They will not be able to touch [the cub] but they will meet mom and dad and older sister,” Harden said. Nabalam, an endangered jaguar at the zoo, gave birth to Maya on Oct. 28.

With the jaguar population in Central and South America depleted by hunting and loss of habitat, the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service listed the species as endangered in 1992.

Learn more about Maya in a video report and photo gallery at,0,1031593.story


Learn more about big cats and Big Cat Rescue at


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