Meet Shilah and Kaliska...


AKRON -- The fans have spoken.

After more than 1,000 votes were submitted in a contest that ran for two weeks, the Akron Zoo's new coyotes have been named.

The male has been named Shilah; the female has been named Kaliska.

Both names are of Native American origin. Shilah means "brother" and Kaliska means "coyote chasing deer."

The non-winning choices were Dasan ("chief") and Adany ("timber" or "woods").

The naming contest started Nov. 21 and concluded Dec. 2.

The coyotes, which are siblings, were born in Logan, Utah on April 13. They arrived at the Akron Zoo this summer where they were kept in quarantine in the zoo's Center for Animal Care.

Recently, the coyotes were moved to their new home inside the Grizzly Ridge exhibit. Being right next to the red wolf exhibit gives the zoo the opportunity to educate people about the differences and similarities in coyotes and wolves.

Coyotes are a species of canid that can be found anywhere in North and Central America. They are grayish brown to yellowish in color. Their belly and throat are mostly white. They are very adaptable to many different habitats as they live in deserts, prairies, savannas, tropical forests, tundra, grasslands and urban areas. Their diet consists primarily of rabbits, rodents, insects and other small prey. The average weight of a coyote is 25-40 lbs. Coyotes are one of the few animals that have increased their range in spite of human encroachment.

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