November 17 was a day of celebration at the San Diego zoo as a special ceremony was held to unveil the much speculated-upon name of a 104-day-old Giant Panda bear cub.

November 17 was a day of celebration at the San Diego zoo as a special ceremony was held to unveil the much speculated-upon name of a 104-day-old Giant Panda bear cub.

Yun ZiGiant panda mum Bai Yun gave birth to her fifth cub at 4:58am on August 5, who weighed in at approximately four ounces. However, in keeping with Chinese tradition, the precious bundle was only bestowed a name after he turned 100 days old.

The zoo gave panda fans an opportunity to name the cub by asking them to visit the Giant Panda Research Station with their suggestions. The competition, launched on October 10, stipulated that names should be in Chinese (Pinyin), have an English translation, be symbolic in meaning and delivered in person to the panda exhibit.

In total, 6,331 names were submitted, which were whittled down by the zoo’s giant panda team (comprised of keepers, veterinarians, scientists and others). The shortlist was reviewed by the Chinese Wildlife Conservation Association and were then posted on the zoo’s website and on its Facebook page for a final vote by the global community. A total of 17,521 votes were cast over a three day voting period.

The winning name, announced during a public ceremony at the San Diego Zoo’s Hunte Amphitheatre, and receiving 28 per cent of the votes, was Yun Zi, which translates as “Son of Cloud” – a reference to mother Bai Yun, whose name means “White Cloud”. Other shortlisted names were Xiao Long (Little Dragon), Xiong Wei (Extraordinary Bear), Young Ziang (Eternally Blessed) and Fu Sheng (Blissful San Diego).

Prior to the ceremony, Yun Zi received his twelfth veterinary examination (see video, below). Son of Cloud weighed in at 13.2lb (5.98 kg).

 

San Diego zoo assistant vet PK Robbins said: “He was very active during the exam. Before we had our hands on him we did get a weight result of six kilos, which is pretty robust. He’s a full figured panda, which is terrific – he’s going to be a manly man, I suppose.

“He was certainly very engaged and very engaging. He’s quite appealing; irresistible, I’d have to say.”

Giant pandas at the San Diego Zoo are on loan from the People’s Republic of China to study this endangered species. As part of this long-term program, the San Diego Zoo is collaborating with the Chinese Academy of Science in studies of behavior, ecology, genetics and conservation of wild pandas living in the Foping Nature Reserve.

 

Yun Zi image courtesy of Ken Bohn, San Diego Zoo

 

View your activity >

Leave a Reply

Be the First to Comment!

Notify of
avatar

wpDiscuz