Your Votes Choose Their Names!

Beary exciting news! Two grizzly cubs recently joined the Zoo family. These sisters had a rough start after they were orphaned in the wilds of Montana. Thankfully, they were rescued by wildlife officials and after it was determined that they could not be rereleased, they found a permanent home here at the Zoo.

Read the full story

Several pairs of names have been chosen for the cubs and it’s up to you to choose the winners. View the names below and cast your vote for the pair you think fits the sisters the best. Voting ends Wednesday, April 5th at 8 am!

Cast Your Vote

Choose your favorite set of two names below. The first name in each pair will be for the larger of the two bear sisters (on the right below) and the second will belong to the smaller grizzly (left).


  • Nova & Nita (“chasing butterflies” and “bear” in various Native American languages)
  • Maple & Juniper (North American tree species)
  • Iris & Violet (beautiful flower names)
  • Casper & Helen (Chosen in honor of the benefactor that sponsored the bear’s transport from Montana)
  • Salish & Kootenai ( Pronounced “Say-lish” and “Koot-nee” – Names of the Native American tribes whose land the sisters were found on)


More than 6,000 votes were cast! Watch the bear keepers reveal the winning names.

Vote Breakdown:

  • Nova & Nita – 1966 – 29%
  • Salish & Kootenai – 1658 – 24%
  • Maple & Juniper – 1311– 19%
  • Iris & Violet – 1257 – 18%
  • Casper & Helen – 653 – 10%

This contest and the grizzly bear exhibit is proudly sponsored by Garrison Forest School, home of the Garrison Forest Grizzlies.