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Zoo seeks votes for name of giant panda cub

The National Zoo has launched an effort to select the name for its giant panda cub. Below are the details from the Smithsonian’s staff.

Giant panda Mei Xiang gave birth to a cub at the Smithsonian’s National Zoo on Aug. 23. The cub is healthy and growing quickly! It is Chinese tradition to celebrate the name of a new life on the 100th day, and we need your help picking the name!

Below are the options. Go here to cast your vote. Voters have until Nov. 22. The winning name will be announced on Dec. 1.

 Precious, treasure.

 Darling, delicate flower.

 Long is the Chinese symbol of the dragon; Yun means charming. Combined this represents a sign of luck for panda cooperation between China and the United States.

 Legendary young woman, a smart and brave Chinese warrior from the fifth century; also the name for the magnolia flower in China and the United States.

 Treasure, valuable.

People’s Republic of China Ambassador to the United States Cui Tiankai, U.S. Ambassador to China Gary Locke and his family, giant panda keepers at the National Zoo, giant panda keepers from the China Conservation and Research Center for the Giant Panda in Wolong, and Friends of the National Zoo each submitted a name for the cub.

On the voting webpage (available in English and Mandarin) voters and avid panda fans alike can learn more about the cub and her parents, Mei Xiang (may-SHONG) and Tian Tian (t-YEN t-YEN), and giant panda research at the Smithsonian’s National Zoo. The page will also include exclusive never-before-seen photos of the cub.

Since her birth Aug. 23 at 5:32 p.m., which was broadcast live on the panda cams, viewers all over the world have watched the cub grow. She weighed less than 5 ounces when she was born but now tips the scales at 8.14 pounds (3.7 kilos). During the past month she has started to crawl and opened her eyes. She will make her public debut at the David M. Rubenstein Family Giant Panda Habitat early in 2014.

When the cub is 4 years old she will move permanently to the China Conservation and Research Center for the Giant Panda in Wolong where she will enter into the giant panda breeding program. Scientists at the Center were part of the teams assembled to perform artificial inseminations on Mei Xiang from 2011 to 2013. SCBI scientists are traveling to China this month to participate in the giant panda technical meeting.


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