National Zoo’s baby panda gets a name



The National Zoo’s baby giant panda cub got an appropriate name Sunday.

The 100-day-old female cub was dubbed “Bao Bao,” which means “precious” or “treasure” in Mandarin Chinese.

Bao Bao is the second surviving panda cub to be born in the U.S. since China gave two pandas to the National Zoo as a state gift in 1972 after a visit by President Richard Nixon.

More than 123,000 votes were cast in an online contest to choose the panda’s name.

The competing names – Ling Hua, Long Yun, Mulan and Zhen Bao – were contributed by Chinese Ambassador Cui Tiankai, U.S. ambassador to China Gary Locke, the China Conservation and Research Center, the National Zoo.

The winning name Bao Bao was submitted by Friends of the National Zoo, a fundraising group for the zoo.

Bao Bao has yet to be shown to the public, except in photographs. Her mother, Mei Xiang, has been nursing her since her birth on Aug. 23. Bao Bao will be introduced next month.