Names were announced here Tuesday for a baby bald eagle and five other rcently born animals, all living in the Washington region and all members of species whose survival remains a matter of concern.
The names, as befits the importance given to the six animals, were chosen by a process that enlisted public participation and carried symbolic significance.
In the case of the eaglet, born in a nest in the far reaches of Southwest Washington, the name honored an admired human quality.
The eaglet, which hatched 110 feet up in an oak near the D.C. police academy in March, was given the name “Spirit.”
It was the offspring of parents whose names are in the Pledge of Allegiance: Liberty and Justice.
Actor LeVar Burton announced the name, chosen by a process in which he said about 240 names were submitted and 10,000 people took part.
The Earth Conservation Corps said Spirit recognized the 25th anniversary of the organization, which has played a key role in the resurgence of eagles in the area.
Other candidates, also evoking the eagle’s role as the national symbol, were reported as “Courage” and “Glory.”
On the day of the eaglet announcement, the Smithsonian Institution’s National Zoo & Conservation Biology Institute revealed the names of five cheetah cubs.
Born in late March at the conservation biology institute in Front Royal, Va., the cubs are members of a species whose natural habitat is shrinking.
Taking note of recent conservation-themed observances, including Earth Day, the three female and two male cubs were named for pioneering conservationists, the Smithsonian said.
One was called Roosevelt after President Theodore Roosevelt.
The others received the last names of Wangari Maathai; Dian Fossey; Margaret Murie, and Aldo Leopold.
Maathai, a Kenyan, won the Nobel Peace Prize, Fossey was famed for protecting gorillas, Murie has been called the “grandmother of the conservation movement,” and Leopold is often considered the father of wildlife ecology.