UK & World News

  • 2 December 2013, 15:28

Panda Gets Name 100 Days After It Was Born

A 100-day-old Panda born in captivity in a Washington zoo finally has a name.

The Smithsonian's National Zoo named the female cub Bao Bao after receiving more than 123,000 votes online from the public.

Bao Bao, which means treasure or precious, is only the second surviving cub born at the National Zoo since the first pandas arrived in 1972 to commemorate President Richard Nixon's historic visit to China.

Panda mother Mei Xiang has been caring for her cub in the panda den since she was born on August 23.

Bao Bao will have her public unveiling early in 2014.

Mei Xiang's only other surviving cub, a male named Tai Shan, was born in 2005 and was returned to China in 2010 for breeding.

Male panda Tian Tian is the father of both cubs.

The zoo asked the public to vote for one of five names for the new cub. The others were Ling Hua, Long Yun, Mulan and Zhen Bao.

Giant pandas are considered critically endangered in the wild and breeding them in captivity has proved difficult.

The new birth has given zoo scientists renewed confidence in the Washington pandas' ability to help grow the panda species.