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

in National

Kentucky clerk faces judgment day in same-sex marriage dispute

Fresh
20-overlay2

A county clerk in Kentucky who refuses to issue marriage licenses to same-sex couples on religious grounds heads to U.S. federal court on Thursday where a judge could hold her in contempt for defying his order to do so.

in Local

Hotel Northampton Workers Plan To Unionize

Fresh
Hotel Northampton workers march to unionize. Courtesy of Jerrey Roberts, Daily Hampshire Gazette

Around 50 Hotel Northampton workers marched through downtown Tuesday night to announce their intention to bargain collectively. The group attempted to present their union petition to hotel owner Mansour Ghalibaf, who refused to come out of his office to accept it.

in Local

Recreational Marijuana Question Cleared by AG

Fresh
marijuana

Attorney General Maura Healey has cleared a total of 23 potential 2016 state ballot questions, including one which would legalize marijuana for recreational use.

in Local

Low CT River Levels This Labor Day Weekend

Fresh
water

Possibly posing problems for boaters who don't pay attention, a lack of rain this summer has resulted in extremely low river levels.

in National, World

Obama scores policy win in securing votes for Iran nuclear deal

19-overlay4

U.S. President Barack Obama scored a major foreign policy victory by securing enough Senate votes to protect the Iran nuclear deal in Congress, but Republicans pledged to keep up their fight against the pact with new sanctions on Tehran.