Thursday, April 17, 2014
Inquirer Daily News

Help name the Smithsonian’s giant panda cub

Baby panda cub at the Smithsonian’s National Zoo.
Baby panda cub at the Smithsonian’s National Zoo.

This could be the most important decision you make all day: helping name a panda cub!

Giant panda Mei Xiang gave birth to this adorable cub at the Smithsonian’s National Zoo in August, and following Chinese tradition, the zoo is waiting 100 days to name her.

Now, they’re enlisting the nation’s help to choose an official name, which will be announced Dec. 1. The choices and their English translations are:

Bao Bao— precious, treasure
Ling Hua—darling, delicate flower
Long Yun—a sign of luck for “panda cooperation” between China and the U.S.
Mulan—a legendary Chinese warrior from the fifth century; also is the name for the magnolia flower in China and the U.S.
Zhen Bao—treasure, valuable

Vote here for your choice and check out this video from the Smithsonian tracking the cub’s progress (the cuteness starts at :45):

The little cub has come a long way since she was born in August. Her mom Mei Xiang “is now venturing outside for breakfast, and is spending up to two hours away from the cub at a time,” giant panda keeper Nicole MacCorkle writes in a Smithsonian blog. “We are using Mei’s time outside to do regular cub exams and weigh and measure the cub. Last week, we noticed that the cub is even sleeping through the exams!”

What would you name the cub? Tell us in the comments!

Lindsay Lowe
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