Koalas in Singapore zoo adopt local names Cantik, Sayang, Nila, and Manja

Chan (left) has chosen Cantik, which means beautiful in Malay and is similar to her original name. This lovely lady with the pink nose is a beauty in her own right. Singapore Zoo’s littlest koala Idalia (right) has decided she’d like to be called Sayang, which means love in Malay, and is often used as a term of endearment for a loved one.
PHOTO: Wildlife Reserves Singapore

SINGAPORE - Meet Cantik, Sayang, Nila, and Manja, the four koalas at the Singapore Zoo, after they gave their paw of approval at a renaming ceremony.

Previously known as known as Chan (short for Chantelle), Idalia, Paddle and Pellita, the four Australian marsupials picked their localised names at the Singapore Zoo just days before national day.

The four names were selected from a crowd-sourced koala nicknaming campaign organsied by the Singapore Zoo in July, Wildlife Reserves Singapore said in a statement Wednesday.

The four female koalas are on a six-month loan from Australia to mark Singapore's 50th anniversary of independence, and the 50th anniversary of the establishment of diplomatic relations between both countries.

The koalas arrived on April 13. They may become permanent gifts once Singapore is able to grow enough eucalyptus leaves for the koalas, which is the only food koalas eat. The Eucalyptus leaves are currently flown in via Australian airline Qantas twice a week.