News & Politics

Name the National Zoo’s Adorable New Black-Footed Ferret Kits

Voting is open until Sunday, July 25.

Three kits were born on May 19 at Smithsonian's Conservation Biology Institute. Photograph courtesy Smithsonian Zoo.

Need a wholesome break from your week? Take a minute to help name the Smithsonian Zoo’s new black-footed ferret kits!

The three kits were born on May 19 at the Smithsonian’s Conservation Biology Institute in Front Royal, Virginia, the offspring of three-year-old mom Potpie and one-year-old dad Daly. Since birth, the baby ferrets have lived a Big Brother existence with their every move live-streamed to the public. Loyal watchers and new ferret fans alike will have the opportunity to choose a name for the female kit on a public poll on the zoo’s website. Voting for one of the male kits will only be available to Smithsonian National Zoo Members in an e-newsletter poll, and name selection for the last male kit will be done through the Smithsonian’s new Zoo Guardians app.  

The name options were inspired by the flora and fauna of North America, since the black-footed ferret species is “distinct” to the region. Here are the name options and explanations for each kit from the Smithsonian: 

The name choices for the female kit are:

  • Americana: Many prairie species’ scientific names include americana
  • Aster: A purple flower native to the American prairie
  • Prairie Rose: A species of rose native to central North America

The name choices for the male kit named by Smithsonian’s National Zoo members are:

  • Albus: In honor of the pallid sturgeon (Scaphirhychus albus), an endangered fish
  • Cupido: In honor of the greater prairie chicken (Tympanuchus cupido)
  • Swifty: In honor of the swift fox

The name choices for the male kit named by Zoo Guardians players are:

  • Aspen: Short for “quaking aspen”—a plant native to the American prairie
  • Cottonwood: A plant native to the American prairie
  • Falco: In honor of the prairie falcon (Falco mexicanus)

Voting will open on all platforms from now until July 25. Stay tuned for the announcement of the winning names on July 27.

Editorial Fellow

Clara Grudberg joined Washingtonian in July 2021. Originally from New York City, she studies history and journalism at Georgetown University.