The National Zoo’s newest panda cub has celebrated a milestone. She is now 100 days old and according to Chinese tradition, she is old enough to officially be given a name. As reported by Fox News on Dec. 1, the female cub’s chosen name is Bao Bao.
The announcement was made at the naming ceremony, which was held at the zoo on Sunday. There were over 120,000 votes that were cast online, which means that the public is excited to be involved in this process. The other names on the list were Ling Hua, Long Yun, Mulan and Zhen Bao. Bao Bao means ‘treasure’ or ‘precious’ and it is a perfect fit for her because this girl is so sweet and is certainly considered a treasure by many. She has become quite a popular girl since her birth on Aug. 23.
Bao Bao went from her birth weight of 4.8 ounces to a healthy weight of 11.66 pounds in her first 100 days of life. This cuddly panda cub has been spending quality time with her mother, Mei Xiang, and has taken her first wobbly steps. This is the second surviving baby panda that has been born at the National Zoo. Mei Xiang gave birth to a cub last year. Unfortunately, the baby only survived six days due to underdeveloped lungs. Her first born is now living in China. Tian Tian is the proud daddy of both surviving cubs.
The breeding program at the National Zoo is an attempt to help save the Giant Panda as they are considered a critically endangered species. Only three zoos in the United States, Zoo Atlanta, San Diego and of course, the Smithsonian Zoo, house these beautiful creatures. The rest are located in China.
You can see Bao Bao on the panda cam right now until she makes her public debut possibly in January. Right now she is still being cared for by her mom until she is strong enough to be a little more dependent on her own. It is a beautiful thing to watch as a panda mom loves on her baby.
Bao Bao will head off to live in China when she turns four years old, according to zoo officials.