News

Public names Atlanta Zoo’s twin panda cubs

Public names Atlanta Zoo’s twin panda cubs

PANDA CUBS: Giant panda twin cubs Mei Huan (L) and Mei Lun, the first pair of twin giant panda cubs to be born in the United States and survive, are pictured in this Zoo Atlanta photo. Photo: Reuters

By David Beasley

ATLANTA (Reuters) – The first twin giant panda cubs to be born in the United States and survive have been given names that come from a Chinese idiom meaning “something indescribably beautiful and magnificent,” zoo officials in Atlanta said on Wednesday.

The names – Mei Lun (may loon) and Mei Huan (may hwaan) – were announced when the male cubs reached 100 days old, in keeping with ancient Chinese tradition.

More than 51,000 people voted on ABC television’s “Good Morning America” website to choose from five sets of names suggested for the pair by staff at the Chengdu Research Base of Giant Panda Breeding in China, Zoo Atlanta officials said.

“We’re delighted to finally be able to place names with two youngsters who have not only made an indelible mark on the history of Zoo Atlanta, but who have also made history in the U.S.,” said Zoo Atlanta President and Chief Executive Raymond King.

The panda cubs, born in July at Zoo Atlanta, will not be on public view until late fall. Until then they can be seen live via a webcam on the zoo’s website, said zoo spokeswoman Keisha Hines.

The cubs were the fourth and fifth babies born to mother Lun Lun and male Yang Yang, both 15. All five cubs were the product of artificial insemination, according to zoo officials.

Giant pandas are an endangered species that only live in the wild in a few mountain ranges in central China. An estimated 1,600 live in the wild and about 300 in captivity, mostly in China, zoo officials said.

Recent Headlines

in National

Homeland funding appears on track minus immigration add-ons

Fresh
homeland

Legislation to fund the Department of Homeland Security is headed back to the House.

in Sports

Prosecutors want to ‘open the door’ in Hernandez trial

Fresh
hernandez

They've asked the judge to let them tell the jury about the time Hernandez shot a friend in Florida.

in Entertainment, Sports

Mark Cuban taking on ‘Sharknado’

Fresh
markcuban

The Dallas Mavericks owner and star of "Shark Tank" will play the president of the U.S.

in National, World

Iran calls Obama’s 10-year nuclear demand ‘unacceptable’

Fresh
IRAN

The aim of the negotiations is to persuade Iran to restrain its nuclear program in exchange for relief from sanctions that have crippled its economy.

in National

10 FOR TODAY: Tuesday, March 3

Fresh
netanyahu

Your daily look at the stories that will be talked about today.