Museum's lion gets name

2013-07-07T00:00:00Z Museum's lion gets nameKim Matas Arizona Daily Star Arizona Daily Star Arizona Daily Star

More than 1,400 entries were submitted to the Arizona-Sonora Desert Museum in a contest to name its new mountain lion cub and Saturday night, the winning name was revealed: Cruz.

The name Cruz, which is Spanish for "cross," was submitted by Darlene Baty of Tucson as a nod to the Santa Cruz River.

Suggestions came in to the museum from 34 states and the District of Columbia, and six foreign countries, according to the museum's website (www.desertmuseum.org). The list was narrowed to 10 finalists, and museum staffers, docents and volunteers voted to determine the winner.

The cub was found in March in San Jose, Calif. He weighed just 15 pounds and was nursed back to health by the California Department of Fish and Wildlife. Because he could not be reintroduction into the wild, the cub was adopted by the Desert Museum. He arrived in May to replace two aging lions taken off exhibit.

Now, at about 7 months old, Cruz tips the scales at 66 pounds. Adult male cougars weigh between 115 and 220 pounds.

Kimberly Matas

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