Washington, D.C.'s National Zoo at the Smithsonian named its giant panda cub on Dec. 1. The adorable animal, born Aug. 23, was finally called Bao Bao, according to a number of sources including Fox News.
The reason this naming took so long?
According to Chinese tradition, it is proper to wait a full 100 days before bestowing a permanent name.
And so what does Bao Boa mean in English?
It means "precious treasure." Apt, for sure, since this giant panda cub who received this surname after 123,000 votes from the members of the Friends of the National Zoo turned up to say this is the best way to describe this new member of her tribe. This happened after these panda devotees responded to a poll that began on Nov. 5
National Zoo bigwig Dennis W. Kelly explained the significance of this particular part of the zoo's menagerie, saying via the Washington Times, "Bao Bao symbolizes 41 years of research and collaboration both at the National Zoo and in China."
This particular giant panda cub is the daughter of Mei Xiang. When she gave birth at the Smithsonian's National Zoo on Aug. 23, the zoo's head veterinarian Suzan Murray commented that the tiny mammal, who weighed less than five ounces, was "robust, [had] a steady heartbeat, a full belly, and [had] successfully passed fecals."
So, with all her vitals in tact and all the functions working, the National Zoo waited the proper period of 100 days after her birth before naming this particular and very special panda cub Bao Bao. Cause for celebration? Of course.