Nation's Little, Giant Panda Is Missing Something Pretty Important

December 1 is a big day for the nation's little panda.

The country's nameless panda on Nov. 1. (Photo courtesy National Zoo.)
The country's nameless panda on Nov. 1. (Photo courtesy National Zoo.)
That tiny little panda born in August at the National Zoo, has all its fingers, all its toes and now a whole lot of black and white fur.

One thing she doesn't have: A name.

With the National Zoo located right in the heart of Washington, DC, zoo officials have turned to democracy to decide what to call the not-so-little-anymore cub.

That's democracy with one caveat: It has to be one of these names:

Bao Bao:
 Precious, treasure. Boa Boa

Ling Hua: Darling, delicate flower. Ling Hua

Long Yun: Long is the Chinese symbol of the dragon; Yun means charming. Combined this represents a sign of luck for panda cooperation between China and the United States. Long Yun

Mulan: Legendary young woman, a smart and brave Chinese warrior from the fifth century; also the name for the magnolia flower in China and the United States. Mulan

Zhen Bao: Treasure, valuable.

Don't worry if you can't pronounce the names. The National Zoo website has spoken pronunciations with its voting ballot.

And the little thing won't have much longer to wait before we can stop calling her the "little thing": She'll be named Dec. 1.


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