The 12-week-old giant panda’s new-found mobility made it challenging for the Giant Panda Team to take precise measurements of his length at a recent exam. But using a larger scale ensured the accuracy of his weight – 7.7 pounds (3.5 kilograms). His girth is growing, too – his chest measured 14.9 inches (38 centimeters) around and his abdomen measured 15.7 inches (40 centimeters).
The physical exam of the cub showed that he is developing as expected and in the same ranges as the other six cubs born at the San Diego Zoo.
The panda is approaching a milestone in his life – receiving a name. Public voting for the cubs’ name begins online today. There are six choices for the public to vote on, which was narrowed down from more than 7,000 name suggestions received in September.
The names up for vote are:
Qi Ji (Qíjī) which means miracle. The Chinese characters are 奇迹
Yu Di (Yǔdī) which means raindrop. The Chinese characters are 雨滴
Da Hai (Dàhǎi) which means Big Ocean/Big Sea. The Chinese characters are 大海
Xiao Liwu (Xiǎo lǐwù) which means Little Gift. The Chinese characters are 小礼物
Yong Er (Yǒng er) which means Brave Son. The Chinese characters are 勇儿
Shui Long (Shuǐlóng) which means Water Dragon. The Chinese characters are 水龙
Voting will take place online at http://donate.sandiegozoo.org/pandaname, and will accept votes until 5 p.m. Pacific time on Tuesday, October 30. The voting site will allow one vote per email address. The name that receives the most votes will become the cub’s name. The San Diego Zoo follows the Chinese cultural tradition of naming the giant panda after it is 100 days old and the name of the panda cub will be announced in mid-November during a public ceremony at the Zoo.
The soon-to-be-named cub is the sixth giant panda born at the San Diego Zoo. The cub’s mother, Bai Yun, has given birth to a single cub in 1999, 2003, 2005, 2007, 2009 and to this cub on July 29. Five of Bai Yun’s cubs were conceived through natural mating. Only the first, in 1999, was the result of artificial insemination. Just 1,600 giant pandas are believed to exist in the wild, and the species is primarily threatened by habitat loss. San Diego Zoo Global, in conjunction with Chinese panda experts, is working to support science-based conservation of the species.
Viewers of Panda Cam, the Zoo’s 24-hour live online camera feed, may catch glimpses of the cub learning to walk. Visit www.sandiegozoo.org/pandacam to watch.
The San Diego Zoo’s giant pandas are on a research loan from the People’s Republic of China. As part of this long-term program, the Zoo is also collaborating with the Chinese Academy of Science in studies of behavior, ecology, genetics and conservation of wild pandas living in the Foping Nature Reserve.
Image courtesy of the San Diego Zoo.