The results are in!
The twin Siberian tigers that were welcomed at Ohio's Toledo Zoo in September have finally been named. With more than 10,000 votes from a contest that TODAY helped to launch, fans decided that the best names for the cubs would be Ember, which means Spark, and Ash, which means Dream.
Savannah Guthrie revealed the amazing news on TODAY Oct. 6, and according to the zookeepers, those names fit the personalities of the newborn cubs perfectly.
"One cub is a fiery furball, always on the prowl for playtime and pestering mom or her sister," the zookeeper said. "The other is the queen of catnaps! She is shy but can be a force to reckon with when she wakes up. They are both very curious and love investigating their new enrichment items."
Two other names that were in the running were Calida, which had a total of 1,186 votes, and Nadya, which racked up 1,712 votes.
As for Ember, a total of 2,374 people thought that name would be best for one of the cubs, while 1,716 people decided that Ash was a winner.
Toledo Zoo's big name reveal comes after Michael Frushour, the curator of mammals at the zoo, announced the animals’ genders exclusively on TODAY Sept. 27, revealing they are both girls.
A set of twin Siberian tigers is also far from common.
Frushour called their birth “incredibly rare,” while noting there are only 5,000 tigers in the wild, with less than 500 of this particular subspecies in the wild.
“It’s really special for us to have, especially two girls, so it’s a really exciting day,” he said.
He also said the cubs and their mother, Talya, are doing well and said the animals would be available for the public to see in an exhibit "really soon."
"They're doing absolutely great," he said.
The zoo initially made the birth announcement on its Facebook page Sept. 21, alongside a video of the newborns with Talya.
"Hold onto your stripes!!! We’ve got paw-sitively exciting news. On July 20, we welcomed twin Amur tigers!" the zoo captioned the post.
"The cubs were born to mom, Talya, and dad, Titan. Talya and Titan had also welcomed twins in 2021," the zoo continued. "At their last exam earlier this month, the twins were 15 and 16 pounds. Talya and the playful cubs are doing well off-exhibit."
The zoo previously announced a vote to help name the cubs. These were the options:
- Calida “Fiery”
- Kima “Butterfly”
- Valentina “Strong”
- Kamilla “Calming”
- Ember “Spark”
- Ash “Dream”
- Maya “Dream”
- Nadya “Hope”
"They're all beautiful names and the cool part about those names is they were all picked by the keeper staff who takes care of them," Frushour said.