Calgary

Star Wars-inspired names given to Calgary Zoo marmot pups

Taking inspiration from a galaxy far, far away, the Calgary Zoo is handing out Star Wars names to some of its new Vancouver Island marmot pups — a species among the rarest mammals in the world.

Meet Luke, Leia, Han Solo, Jabba and Yoda before they head out into an unknown galaxy

Some of the 14 new Vancouver Island marmot pups peer out their home at the Calgary Zoo. (Calgary Zoo)

Taking inspiration from a galaxy far, far away, the Calgary Zoo is handing out Star Wars names to some of its new marmot pups — many of which will be released into the wild in the next year.

"The pups are very valuable as the species is listed as endangered and considered one of the rarest mammals in the world," said the zoo in a release about the Vancouver Island marmot pups comprised of four females and 10 males from different litters.

Vancouver Island marmots have been part of the zoo's captive breeding program since 1998. In partnership with several other organizations, including the Marmot Recovery Foundation, the zoo has been working to rebuild the force.

The force (to eat carrots) is strong with this young padawan ... er, pup. (Calgary Zoo)

They are now awakening to the light side of life, with help from their new names that include Luke, Leia, Han Solo, Jabba and Yoda.

"The animal care team at the zoo's Wildlife Conservation Centre had some fun with the naming of the pups, keeping the Star Wars movie release in mind," the zoo said in a release.

The zoo says the best estimate is there are roughly 300 marmots in the wild — an increase from a mere 30 at one time. 

This young pup is in search of the light side as it peers from around the side of its wooden home. (Calgary Zoo)

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