National zoo's panda cub has a name

After receiving over 123,000 votes, the public has given the baby panda cub a name. Photo: Bao Bao/ National Zoo

WASHINGTON, D.C., December 2, 2013 — After being alive for 100 days, the National Zoo’s baby panda- of Panda Cam fame- has a name: Bao Bao.

After a public vote yielding over 123,000 ballots cast, the winning name was announced yesterday. The voting took place from November 5 to November 22 with the panda loving public choosing from one of five nominated names.

The five possible names were chosen by the Ambassador of the People’s Republic of China to the U.S., Cui Tiankai, U.S. ambassador to the People’s Republic of China, Gary Locke, and his family, giant panda keepers at the China Conservation and Research Center in Wolong, Sichuan, China, the future home of the cub after she turns four years old, giant panda keepers at the National Zoo, and Friends of the National Zoo.

Bao Bao is a Mandarin name and it translates as “precious” or “treasure” in English. The name was bestowed onto the baby panda by Smithsonian Secretary Wayne Clough and Ambassador Cui Tiankai at a ceremony celebrating the cub’s first 100 days of life.

Bao Bao will make her public debut this coming January. For those who are too impatient to wait until after the holidays to see the baby girl, the Panda Cam will remain operational.


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Ryley Trahan

Ryley J. Trahan is a writer and physics teacher in Virginia. He is a graduate of the University of Mary Washington, in Fredericksburg Virginia, with undergraduate degrees in English and Physics. He loves comic books and super heroes. He also writes a blog about Physics in New Media.

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