San Francisco

Meet Cobar, San Francisco Zoo & Gardens' New Koala

San Francisco Zoo & Gardens

A new koala at the San Francisco Zoo & Gardens has a name following a naming contest to raise money for Australian bushfire relief, zoo officials said Tuesday.

The chosen name is Cobar Wollemi (pronounced Coe-bar Wall-em-eye).

Cobar means "burnt earth" in an Aboriginal language while Wollemi is the name of pine trees, once thought to be extinct, and saved heroically from the bushfires.

"We landed on two names together because there was such a great story behind each of them," Tanya Peterson, CEO and executive director of the San Francisco Zoological Society, said in a statement.

The contest raised $15,000. Zoo officials have not announced who came up with the koala's name, but the two winners will be invited to meet Cobar Wollemi.

Australia's wildlife was devastated by the bushfires and the devastation prompted the idea to raise relief money via a naming contest. People donated anywhere from a dollar to $5,000.

Among the names submitted were Aboriginal words and funny ones such as Sunny Cheeks and Pickle.

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