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National Zoo Names 2 Bear Cubs After Online Vote

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WASHINGTON (AP) Nearly 5,000 people have weighed in to help the National Zoo name its two Andean bear cubs.

Online voting for the names ended Monday. The zoo offered names from Peru and Venezuela where the bears are found.

The female bear has been named Chaska, a Quechua word meaning "dawn star." The male bear is named Bernardo, Spanish for "brave like a bear."

Bernardo also happens to be the name of Venezuela's ambassador, Bernardo Alvarez.

The zoo says Chaska beat out the name Paqarina, which means "dawn" in Quechua, by just 72 votes. The name Bernardo won by a larger margin.

The cubs will make their public debut Saturday with their mother, Billie Jean, and their father, Nikki.

(Copyright 2010 by The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved.)

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