Leopard naming contest deadline extended until 1 December 2013

Leopard naming contest deadline extended until 1 December 2013

17 October 2013

In early August 2013, the Leopard Land National Park announced a Name the Leopard contest. Any Russian resident, regardless of age, can suggest a name for a young, "white gloved" leopard. A commission of the national park's employees and invited experts will choose five finalists in different categories, after which a winner will be selected. All finalists will receive gifts and certificates.


Only residents of the Primorye Territory were initially expected to participate in the contest, with the deadline set to 15 October. However, with submissions coming from across Russia, it was decided to make the contest nationwide and extend the deadline until 1 December 2013.


"During the first month, we received a modest number of entries from participants, with only 22 applications submitted in August," said Leopard Land's Senior Specialist for Environment Education Anna Salomatova. "But the situation changed dramatically in September when the number of submissions surged to 100 and exceeded 400 in early October. This is mainly attributable to the fact that about 170 applications were sent by the Russian Post Service. We are receiving wishes, thank you letters for holding this contest, poems and paintings by post as well as email. Some participants, mostly seniors, call us by phone so that employees of Leopard Land National Park can register their application. As of today, the number of applications has exceeded 600, and they are still coming in, which led to the decision to extend the deadline until 1 December 2013."


The project turned out to have a wide geographic reach. Applications are coming in from across Russia, including major cities, such as Moscow, St Petersburg, Novosibirsk, Yekaterinburg, Chelyabinsk, Krasnoyarsk, Irkutsk, Khabarovsk and Vladivostok, as well as smaller towns and villages, including Osy of the Perm Region, Fokino of the Primorye Territory, Tulun of the Irkutsk Region, Engels of the Saratov Region, Yelkhovoye Ozero of the Ulyanovsk Region, Ukhty of the Komi Republic, Maltsevo of the Kurgan Region and Peschany of the Krasnodar Region.


The age of contest participants ranges from six to 91, with an even gender ratio. It is not uncommon for whole families to enter the contest.


Despite the contest's vast geography and age diversity, most of the entrants selected similar names for the "white gloved" leopard. These names are Leo, Lord, Dandy, Frant, Leon, Khasan, Amur, Vladik, Primorets, Consul, Vasily, Boris and Innokenty. However, a number of unconventional entries have also been submitted, including Albinchik, Tishka, Baster, Undik, Laki, Vantalla, Ankhel, Vesnushka, Achilles, Ukh-ty and Bardi.