News & Politics

Baby Panda News: Here Are the Zoo’s Four Possible Names

The zoo is asking everyone to vote for their faves.

Photograph courtesy Smithsonian's National Zoo.

Wouldn’t you rather think about what to name DC’s pumpkin-loving chonky panda prince instead of, likeanything else that’s currently in the news? You can take a sanity break and have some input into the panda cub’s name by voting on a page Smithsonian’s National Zoo set up to help decide how we’ll address the new bear in town.

The possible names, per the zoo, 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

This is the third time the zoo has invited the public to help name a panda cub. It held contests in 2005 and 2013 for Tai Shan (aka Butterstick) and Bao Bao, respectively. Bei Bei was named in 2016 by the first ladies of the US and China.

The names “reflect the extraordinary circumstances under which this cub was born and celebrate the collaboration between colleagues who strive to conserve this species,” the zoo says in a statement. No write-ins allowed, sorry. You can vote once per day if you’re extremely motivated.


Senior editor

Andrew Beaujon joined Washingtonian in late 2014. He was previously with the Poynter Institute,, and Washington City Paper. His book A Bigger Field Awaits Us: The Scottish Soccer Team That Fought the Great War was published in 2018. He lives in Del Ray.