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Wanted: Local names

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The four koalas at the Singapore Zoo are hoping to get new names that sound more Singaporean.

Wildlife Reserves Singapore, which runs the zoo, is inviting the public to come up with uniquely Singaporean names for the four creatures, based on their characteristics and personalities.

"Singapore Zoo's koala quartet is looking to blend in fully with locals ahead of the SG50 Jubilee Weekend with new Singapore names," said the zoo in a release yesterday.

The zoo will shortlist names based on the submissions. The koalas will then pick their own names from the shortlisted entries during a ceremony next month. They will do so with a "paw approval", said the zoo.

Details of the naming campaign can be found at www.zoo.com.sg/koala-mania.

The four marsupials, which are all female, are in Singapore on a six-month loan from Australia, to mark the 50th anniversary of the establishment of diplomatic relations between the two countries, and Singapore's Jubilee celebrations.

They might become permanent gifts once Singapore is able to support its own koala colony.

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