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.

Recent Headlines

1 min ago in Entertainment, Sports

TWITTER REACTS: Super Bowl 50 halftime show

Fresh
Coldplay singer Chris Martin sings during halftime of the NFL Super Bowl 50 football game between the Denver Broncos and the Carolina Panthers, Sunday, Feb. 7, 2016, in Santa Clara, Calif. (AP Photo/David J. Phillip)

Coldplay has a lot of fans ... but most of them were not on Twitter on Sunday night.

5 mins ago in Entertainment, Sports

PHOTOS: Coldplay, guests rock Super Bowl 50 halftime

Fresh
Beyoncé, from left, Coldplay singer Chris Martin and Bruno Mars perform during halftime of the NFL Super Bowl 50 football game between the Denver Broncos and the Carolina Panthers, Sunday, Feb. 7, 2016, in Santa Clara, Calif. (AP Photo/Julio Cortez)

Coldplay, Beyoncé, and Bruno Mars brought down the house on Sunday night for an unforgettable Super Bowl halftime show.

1 hour ago in Sports

PHOTOS: Super Bowl 50

Fresh
Carolina Panthers’ Jonathan Stewart (28) scores a touchdown against the Denver Broncos during the first half of the NFL Super Bowl 50 football game Sunday, Feb. 7, 2016, in Santa Clara, Calif. (AP Photo/Matt Slocum)

Some of the sights from the battle between the Broncos and the Panthers in Super Bowl 50.

2 hours ago in National, Sports

Super Bowl: Denver leads Carolina 13-7 at start of third quarter

Fresh
camnewton

The underdog Denver Broncos, relying on their top-ranked defense, carried a 13-7 lead over the Carolina Panthers into halftime of Super Bowl 50 at Levi's Stadium on Sunday.

2 hours ago in Sports, Trending, Viral Videos

WATCH: Super Bowl 50 commercials

14-overlay-1

A 30-second commercial spot on Super Sunday can cost up to $5 million. Which Super Sunday ad was your favorite?