The sloth bear cub born at the Smithsonian's National Zoo Dec. 29 has been named Remi by the people who know her best--her keepers. They have been hand-rearing the cub 24 hours a day since a week after she was born, becoming her surrogate parents. Care for the cub has included ensuring that she sleeps soundly through the night. Due to the way she slept with her eyes slightly opened when she was very young, keepers chose the name Remi, derived from the REM (rapid eye movement) sleep cycle. Remi will be on exhibit later this summer at the sloth bear habitat on Asia Trail.
The gray seal pup born Jan. 21 has been named Rona by American Trail keepers. Her name was inspired by the island of Rona located between the west coast of Scotland and the Isle of Skye. Rona is described as a beautiful and remote island with only one human resident, but gray and common seals abound. Keepers have started introductions between Rona and the Zoo's six other seals, one at a time. The equivalent of a human handshake, a typical greeting between seals is to meet nose-to-nose and breathe in each other's faces. Rona has already greeted her mother, Kara, and grandmother, Selkie, in this manner.