National Zoo Names Panda Cub ‘Bao Bao’

By Gillian Mohney

Dec 1, 2013 2:45pm

The Smithsonian’s National Zoo has given a name to their new giant panda cub, christening her “Bao Bao.” The name means ”treasure” or “precious,” according to zoo officials.

The zoo announced the name after the cub turned 100 days old in honor of Chinese tradition.

The zoo enlisted the help of the public to pick the name for the adorable panda cub. Approximately 123,000 online votes were cast with the name Bao Bao winning out over names including Ling Hua, Long Yun, Mulan and Zhen Bao.

While there was no cake at the naming ceremony, zoo officials said Bao Bao’s dad, Tian Tian, will get a special ice treat to commemorate the naming.

The panda cub was born to Mei Xiang in August according to ABC News affiliate WJLA. Bao Bao is only the second surviving panda cub born in Washington.

AP panda cub jt 131201 16x9 608 National Zoo Names Panda Cub Bao Bao

This is Bao Bao at about 100 days old. (Smithsonian National Zoo, Abby Wood/AP Photo)

Breeding giant pandas in captivity has been especially difficult. At the National Zoo scientists tried numerous times before this pregnancy to artificially inseminate the female panda, after she and the male panda failed to breed naturally.

Last year Mei Xiang gave birth to a cub, but that cub died only six days later due to undeveloped lungs.

Bao Bao will make her official debut to the public in January when she goes on exhibit, but if you just can’t wait you can see her right now through the zoo’s  “Panda Cam.” 

 The Associated Press contributed to this report.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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