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National Zoo names 100-day-old panda cub Bao Bao

5:01 PM, Dec 1, 2013   |    comments
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Photo Gallery: Panda cub Bao Bao is growing!

Photo Gallery: Panda cub receives first vaccine

Video: Baby panda named Bao Bao

Credit: Surae Chinn (@suraechinn)

WASHINGTON (WUSA9) -- The panda cub at the National Zoo now has a name. 

After more than 123,000 votes online, voters chose Bao Bao --which means "precious" or "treasure" in Chinese--for the 100-day old panda.

100 days marks a big milestone in Chinese Tradition in a baby's life, and the National Zoo marked the occasion with a naming ceremony filled with dance and dignitaries.

Following a crowd-led count down, two scrolls revealed the panda's name in English and Chinese characters.

"We were thrilled! That is what we wanted and voted for," Susan Wilmeth, who voted for Bao Bao, said. "Yay, Bao Bao!"

Ling Hua, Long Yun, Mulan and Zhen Bao were among the names voters could also choose from.

Twelve-year-old Emily Mackinnon came from Pennsylvania for the big announcement.

"I voted for Mulan because I think it's a pretty name but I still like Bao Bao. I think it's a cute name," Mackinnon said.

"I think it's a great day, we have a good name for the Panda and everyone is so excited," Chinese Ambassador to the U.S. Cui Tiankai said.

Visitors who want to see Bao Bao in person will have to wait a little longer. Zoo keepers are predicting you'll be able to see her in early January. 

So for now we'll have to rely on the Panda cam.

"It's not for lack of trying on Mei Xiang's part. She's been taking her out on field trips as we like to call it," animal keeper Nicole MacCorkle said. "But it will be a little bit longer before she's ready to explore the outdoor world. Bao Bao is very fitting. She is a treasure."

Bao Bao now weighs 11 and a half pounds. She took her first steps a couple of weeks ago.

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