In an announcement to rival the massive buzz surrounding Kanye and Kim Kardashian’s naming of their offspring, the National Zoo has launched a public forum for naming its own baby: the giant panda cub born August 23 to Mei Xiang and Tian Tian. The zoo has created a webpage where people can vote on the name of the cub, which, according to Chinese tradition, is not officially given until the cub is 100 days old. The voting began Tuesday, and the winning name will be announced on Sunday, December 1, the cub’s 100-day birthday.
The names on the ballot were submitted by Chinese ambassador Cui Tiankai, American ambassador to China Gary Locke and his family, and giant panda keepers from the National Zoo, the China Conservation and Research Center for the Giant Panda in Wolong, and the Friends of the National Zoo.
Here are the Mandarin names and their meaning, according to the zoo:
Bao Bao (宝宝)—precious, treasure.
Ling Hua (玲花)—darling, delicate flower.
Long Yun (龙韵)—Long is the Chinese symbol of the dragon, Yun means charming. Combined this represents a sign of luck for panda cooperation between China and the US.
Mulan (木兰)—a legendary young woman, a smart and brave Chinese warrior from the fifth century; it also means magnolia flower in Chinese.
Zhen Bao (珍宝)—treasure, valuable.
Have a better idea? Tell us your suggestion for a name for the new panda in the comments section below.