A panda cub was born on August 21 at the National Zoo in Washington D.C. and they are giving the public a chance to be a part of the naming process. The zoo opened the polls on November 16 and will conclude on November 20.
“Giant pandas are an international symbol of endangered wildlife and hope, and the birth of this cub offered the world a much-needed moment of joy amidst the COVID-19 pandemic,” the zoo writes on their official website, “The possible names—chosen by the Zoo and Chinese partners—reflect the extraordinary circumstances under which this cub was born and celebrate the collaboration between colleagues who strive to conserve this species.”
The four names to choose from are:
Fu Zai (福仔) [fu-tzai]—prosperous boy
Xiao Qi ji (小奇迹) [shiau-chi-ji]—little miracle
Xing Fu (幸福) [shing-fu]—happy and prosperous
Zai Zai (仔仔) [tzai-tzai]—a traditional Chinese nickname for a boy
After voting ends on November 20, the name that the public chooses will be given to the cub on November 23. The baby’s mother is named Mei Xiang and the father is named Tian Tian. Mei Xang had the baby at 22 years old, making her the oldest panda to give birth to a baby in the United States.
The zoo writes on their official website, “Smithsonian Conservation Biology Institute reproductive scientists and Zoo veterinarians performed an artificial insemination on Mei Xiang March 22 with frozen semen collected from Tian Tian, who turned 23 years old Aug. 27. This is the first time a zoo in the United States has experienced a successful pregnancy and birth via artificial insemination using only frozen semen. Zoo veterinarians confirmed evidence of a fetus on an ultrasound Aug. 14 and Aug. 17.”
To find out what name gets chosen, follow along on their website.