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.

Latest Headlines

in Trending, Viral Videos

TODAY’S MUST SEE: Johnny JamBoogie

Fresh
18-overlay8

If football doesn't workout, "Johnny Football" always has this to fall back on.

in Entertainment

Reese Witherspoon goes ‘Legally Blonde’ for cancer-stricken fan

Fresh
Reese Witherspoon stars in a scene from "Legally Blonde."

Reese Witherspoon played dress-up for a four year old who is obsessed by her alter ego Elle Woods from her 2001 hit "Legally Blonde."

in Lifestyle

Power cords, children’s furniture among this week’s recalls

Fresh
hp

HP is recalling 6 million power cords for overheating and the deaths of two children have prompted the recall of bean bag chairs.

in Entertainment

Today’s celebrity birthdays

liampayne

A member of One Direction is legal and a longtime TV personality celebrates his 73rd birthday.

in Entertainment

Joan Rivers stable after health emergency

joan

Comedienne Joan Rivers is in stable condition at a New York hospital after losing her breath during a routine surgery.