The National Zoo’s panda cub finally has a name

It's a really cute one, too

Topics: Pandas, National zoo, pandacam, wildlife, Conservation, ,

The National Zoo's panda cub finally has a nameBao Bao on October 29, 2013 (Credit: Abby Wood, Smithsonian's National Zoo)

The National Zoo’s giant panda cub (per the Washington Post, “the world’s most adorable captive animal”) officially made it through her first 100 days of life Sunday. As a reward, she gets her very own name: Bao Bao.

Over 123,000 people voted online for the name, the zoo reports, choosing it above four others, including “Mulan.” Adorable on its own (just try saying it aloud: “bough BOUGH”), it’s also, fittingly, the Mandarin word for “precious” or “treasure.”

The name was announced at a zoo ceremony that featured video messages from First Lady Michelle Obama and Peng Liyuan, China’s first lady. The Washington Post reports:

“Ni hao! And hello,” Michelle Obama said. She stressed the panda caretaking and research partnership between China and the United States, without noting that traditional diplomatic activities remain tense. “So today, we’re thrilled to welcome this little cub — a cub who exemplifies both the common bond between our nations and the brighter future of this magnificent species. That’s a lot for a little bear, but I think she’s up to it.”

Peng Liyuan, China’s first lady, cradled a stuffed animal panda as she spoke.

“Many people love baby pandas as they love their own children,” she said in her native language, according to a transcript, adding, “As ‘living fossils’ that are rare, cuddly, smart and brave, they have captured the heart of the Chinese, Americans, and indeed people all over the world.”

You Might Also Like

As always, Bao Bao and her mother, Mei Xiang, can be found hanging out on PandaCam. She’s expected to make her live public debut in early 2014.

Lindsay Abrams
Lindsay Abrams is a staff writer at Salon, reporting on all things sustainable. Follow her on Twitter @readingirl, email

More Related Stories

Featured Slide Shows

  • Share on Twitter
  • Share on Facebook
  • 1 of 8
  • Close
  • Fullscreen
  • Thumbnails

    7 ways Americans have defiled the hot dog

    Sonic's Bacon Double Cheddar Croissant Dog

    Sonic calls this a "gourmet twist" on a classic. I am not so, so fancy, but I know that sprinkling bacon and cheddar cheese onto a tube of pork is not gourmet, even if you have made a bun out of something that is theoretically French.

    Krispy Kreme

    7 ways Americans have defiled the hot dog

    Krispy Kreme's Doughnut Dog

    This stupid thing is a hotdog in a glazed doughnut bun, topped with bacon and raspberry jelly. It is only available at Delaware's Frawley Stadium, thank god.


    7 ways Americans have defiled the hot dog

    KFC's Double Down Dog

    This creation is notable for its fried chicken bun and ability to hastily kill your dreams.

    Pizza Hut

    7 ways Americans have defiled the hot dog

    Pizza Hut's Hot Dog Bites Pizza

    Pizza Hut basically just glued pigs-in-blankets to the crust of its normal pizza. This actually sounds good, and I blame America for brainwashing me into feeling that.

    Carl's Jr.

    7 ways Americans have defiled the hot dog

    Carl's Jr. Most American Thick Burger

    This is a burger stuffed with potato chips and hot dogs. Choose a meat, America! How hard is it to just choose a meat?!

    Tokyo Dog

    7 ways Americans have defiled the hot dog

    Tokyo Dog's Juuni Ban

    A food truck in Seattle called Tokyo Dog created this thing, which is notable for its distinction as the Guinness Book of World Records' most expensive hot dog at $169. It is a smoked cheese bratwurst, covered in butter Teriyaki grilled onions, Maitake mushrooms, Wagyu beef, foie gras, black truffles, caviar and Japanese mayo in a brioche bun. Just calm down, Tokyo Dog. Calm down.


    7 ways Americans have defiled the hot dog

    Limp Bizkit's "Chocolate Starfish and the Hot Dog Flavored Water"

    This album art should be illegal.

  • Recent Slide Shows


Loading Comments...