Voting Begins for Naming the Nat’l Zoo Panda Cub

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The giant panda cub at Smithsonian’s National Zoo grew a lot during the 16-day federal government shutdown. During that time, the panda cam was off and the Smithsonian did not post updates or pictures on their website, Facebook or Twitter. (credit: Smithsonian's National Zoo)

The giant panda cub at Smithsonian’s National Zoo grew a lot during the 16-day federal government shutdown. During that time, the panda cam was off and the Smithsonian did not post updates or pictures on their website, Facebook or Twitter. (credit: Smithsonian’s National Zoo)

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LANHAM, Md. (CBSDC) — It’s election day in Maryland and Virginia, but today also marks the first day of voting for what to name the National Zoo’s panda cub.

There are five names to choose from:

  • Bao Bao (宝宝) — precious, treasure. (bow-BOW)
  • Ling Hua (玲花) — darling, delicate flower. (ling-HWA)
  • Long Yun (龙韵) — 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 U.S. (long-YOON)
  • Mulan (木兰) — a legendary young woman, a smart and brave Chinese warrior from the fifth century; it also means magnolia flower in Chinese. (moo-LAHN)
  • Zhen Bao (珍宝) — treasure, valuable. (jen-BAO)

You can vote for your favorite on Smithsonian.com today through Nov. 22.

The winning name will be announced at a special ceremony on Dec. 1, when the cub will turn 100 days old. It is Chinese tradition to celebrate when a baby turns 100 days old.

The cub has grown a lot since her birth on Aug. 23, when she weighed less than 5 ounces.

She now weighs about 8.14 pounds. She has started to crawl and has opened her eyes.

She will make her public debut at the David M. Rubenstein Family Giant Panda Habitat early next year.

When she’s 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.

Vote in WNEW’s poll here:

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