Social media users choose the name for Far Eastern leopard

Social media users choose the name for Far Eastern leopard

17 April 2018

Social media users voted to choose a name for the leopardess Leo 61F, who is now called Taiga. The leopardess became the first spotted wild cat whose name was picked by internet users.


The naming contest for Leo 61F marked the sixth anniversary of Land of the Leopard National Park. During the first stage of the contest, internet users suggested a total of over 600 names for this unique predator. Apart from the number of participants, the park's employees were surprised at the variety and originality of the names suggested: in addition to traditional animal names, like Belka, Strelka and Murka, users suggested a number of popular female names as well. Two of these names, Marusya and Nadezhda, made it into the top five. Other popular names also included mythology names, such as Venera (Venus), Afrodita (Aphrodite), Artemida (Artemis) and Lakshmi. Users also could not help but refer to the appearance of this predator from the Primorye Territory (the name Pyatnashka, or Spotted, was on the shortlist) and her habitat (Taiga was also a contender). The fifth name selected for the voting was Vesna.


Anyone following the national park's social media pages could vote for one of the five names until 17 April. During the first days of voting, the name Taiga topped the list and got some 250 votes by the end of the contest, which is twice as many as any other contender. In total, about 700 people participated in the voting.


The Far Eastern leopardess Leo 61F (Taiga) is a young predator living in the southern part of Land of the Leopard National Park. She was spotted by camera traps for the first time in 2015. Now Taiga is about four to five years old. She has never been sighted with cubs.