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

Making headlines this week


Here's a look at some of this week's biggest newsmakers and the headlines you may have missed.

in Local

Deerfield Apple Thief Facing Charges

apple farm

Deerfield Police pulled over the woman in the Mercedes after receiving a report that someone was illegally harvesting apples from trees at Clarkdale Fruit Farm.

in Local

Easthampton’s Route Ten Closes Again, This Time For A Water Main Break

waste water

It happened around one Thursday morning between Florence Road and Highland Avenue. The road did not reopen until around two that afternoon. It was the second time in 24 hours that the road was forced to close.

in Local

Westfield Road Rage Incident Nets Arrests

police lights

On an altercation on Route 20, a female motorist told police that four men in a car waved a gun at her. When police pulled the car over, there were only three men inside and no gun.

in Local

Western Mass Opioid Awareness Effort Wins Federal Grant


Congressmen Jim McGovern and Richard Neal have announced that Rural Opioid Overdose Reversal Grant is being awarded to ongoing opioid awareness programs in Berkshire and Franklin counties and the North Quabbin region.