New lion cubs at Honolulu Zoo: Kekoa, Alohi and Iolana

HONOLULU (HawaiiNewsNow) - Three lion cubs made their official public debut at the Honolulu Zoo Saturday, the same day that their new names were announced.

Honolulu Mayor Kirk Caldwell revealed the names: Kekoa, Alohi and Iolana.

The three names were chosen in a contest in which children came up with a name, along with a haiku.

Grady Garzo, an eight-year-old Punahou School second grader, chose Kekoa as the name for the only male cub, the second-born of the three. Kekoa means "brave and courageous" in Hawaiian. His winning haiku:

Lion cubs waiting

Eyes gleaming like golden moons

Hidden in the grass

In the 10-11 year-old category, Anela Donachie, a sixth-grader at La Pietra School, chose the name for the third-born cub, a female: Alohi, which means "to shine or sparkle." Her winning haiku:

Creatures of beauty

Live freely and hunt as one

Lions, fierce and proud

In the 12-13 year-old category, Kamehameha Schools seventh-grader Anuhea Parker chose the name for the first-born, a female cub: Iolana, which means "to soar." Her winning haiku:

Majestic Lion

Fierce as pounding surf, roaring

Like distant thunder

The Honolulu Zoological Society sponsored the contest to name the lion cubs. About 600 children, ages 8 to 13 from schools around the state, submitted original haiku, which was judged by staff from the zoo, the Zoological Society and Service Systems Associates.

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