Akron Zoo coyotes get names through contest

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Akron – After a naming contest that generated over 1,000 votes, the coyotes at the Akron Zoo have been named. The male is named Shilah (shy-luh) and the female coyote will now go by Kaliska (kuh-lis-kuh). The coyotes, which have been on exhibit now since last month, are part of the zoo’s Mike & Mary Stark Grizzly Ridge exhibit.

The naming contest ran from Nov. 21 to Dec. 2. The animal care department at the zoo narrowed the choices of names down to two for each coyote. The names are of Native American origin and Shilah means “brother” and Kaliska means “coyote chasing deer.” The non-winning choices were Dasan (dug-sahn) for the male, which means “chief” and Adany (uh-dah-knee) for the female, which means “timber” or “woods.”

The coyotes, one male and one female, are siblings. They were born on April 13 at USDA facility in Logan, Utah. When they arrived at the zoo this summer they were in quarantine in the zoo’s Center for Animal Care. More recently they were moved to their exhibit to get used to their surroundings before they went on exhibit to the public. Being right next to the red wolf exhibit gives the zoo the opportunity to educate people about the differences and similarities in coyotes and wolves.

Coyotes are a species of canid that can be found anywhere in North and Central America. They are grayish brown to yellowish in color. Their belly and throat are mostly white. They are very adaptable to many different habitats as they live in deserts, prairies, savannas, tropical forests, tundra, grasslands and urban areas. Their diet consists primarily of rabbits, rodents, insects and other small prey. The average weight of a coyote is 25-40 lbs. Coyotes are one of the few animals that have increased their range in spite of human encroachment.

The Akron Zoo is open 361 days a year. Winter hours are 11 a.m. – 4 p.m. and winter admission is $6 per person. Children under two are free and parking is $2.00. For more information visit www.akronzoo.org or call (330) 375-2550.

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