Cincinnati Zoo needs help naming new bearcat

Source: WXIX/Cincinnati Zoo

CINCINNATI, Ohio. (WXIX) -- The Cincinnati Zoo has a new bearcat—and the Cincinnati Bearcats have an adorable new mascot.

But she doesn’t have a name yet.

The zoo will be holding a public contest to name the four-week-old bearcat, with submissions accepted via Twitter, Instagram and Facebook through Oct. 31.

Just use the hashtag #namethebearcat to get your submission in.

The zoo’s bearcat care team will select two names from those submissions and fans will get to vote for their favorite. Voting will be open from November 4-7, and the new mascot’s name will be announced at the homecoming game against UConn on November 9 at Nippert Stadium.

The bearcat girl was born in Nashville, and the zoo brought her up to Cincinnati Tuesday in time for her introduction Friday morning.

She weighs just four lbs., but won’t stay that small. Over the next several months, she will grow to a weight of 25 or 30 lbs.

The zoo says she will be the University of Cincinnati’s new animal mascot, appearing at football and basketball games beginning in December.

“The baby will receive care, TLC, and ambassador training in the Zoo’s ambassador center until she is ready to venture out,” Associate Curator of Interpretive Animals Amanda Chambers said.

She will replace Lucy, the university’s beloved live mascot of 12 years, who retired in August.

“We’re thrilled that the Association of Zoos and Aquariums was able to identify a young bearcat from the Zoo population that is well suited to continue the live mascot program that UC and the Zoo started 35 years ago,” UC Director of Athletics Mike Bohn said.

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