Suggest local names for the four koalas at Singapore Zoo

Both Pellita (left) and Chan (pronounced ‘Shen’, short for Chantelle) are looking forward to receiving their Singapore names.
Both Pellita (left) and Chan (pronounced ‘Shen’, short for Chantelle) are looking forward to receiving their Singapore names.PHOTO: WILDLIFE RESERVES SINGAPORE
Paddle (left) and Idalia are looking forward to receiving Singapore names.
Paddle (left) and Idalia are looking forward to receiving Singapore names.PHOTO: WILDLIFE RESERVES SINGAPORE
Pellita, the sassiest of Singapore Zoo's koalas, always demands attention from her caretakers and even expects to be fed first at meal times. She is fondly known as the princess of the group.
Pellita, the sassiest of Singapore Zoo's koalas, always demands attention from her caretakers and even expects to be fed first at meal times. She is fondly known as the princess of the group.PHOTO: WILDLIFE RESERVES SINGAPORE
The most active and vocal koala with the prinkest nose and darkest fur, Chan just may be the easiest to identify.
The most active and vocal koala with the prinkest nose and darkest fur, Chan just may be the easiest to identify.PHOTO: WILDLIFE RESERVES SINGAPORE
Paddle is the oldest and gentlest koala. She also has a motherly side and can be seen doting on Idalia.
Paddle is the oldest and gentlest koala. She also has a motherly side and can be seen doting on Idalia.PHOTO: WILDLIFE RESERVES SINGAPORE
Idalia is the smallest and youngest koala. She has large fluffy ears and is adventurous when it comes to food and is the most likely to try new species of eucalypt leaves.
Idalia is the smallest and youngest koala. She has large fluffy ears and is adventurous when it comes to food and is the most likely to try new species of eucalypt leaves.PHOTO: WILDLIFE RESERVES SINGAPORE

SINGAPORE - The four koalas at the Singapore Zoo may be called Paddle, Pellita, Idalia and Chan (short for Chantelle and pronounced as "shen").

But they are now hoping to get new names that sound more Singaporean.

Wildlife Reserves Singapore, which runs the zoo, is inviting members of the public to come up with uniquely Singaporean names for the four, 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 media release on Thursday.

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 as well as Singapore's Jubilee celebrations.

The koalas, which eat only eucalyptus leaves, arrived on April 13. They might become permanent gifts once Singapore is able to support its own koala colony.

The zoo said on Thursday that since their arrival, the quartet "have settled in nicely in their exhibit in Singapore Zoo's Australian zone".

Chan is the most active and "vocal" of the group, and Idalia, the smallest and youngest, has large fluffy ears. Pellita tends to crave attention from caretakers and expects to be fed first, while Paddle is the oldest and gentlest of the four.

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

Details on how to submit names will be released on Monday on www.zoo.com.sg/koala-mania

cherylw@sph.com.sg