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Help choose a name for Vienna's baby panda boy
Photo: Schönbrunn Zoo

Help choose a name for Vienna's baby panda boy

The Local · 18 Oct 2016, 17:04

Published: 18 Oct 2016 17:04 GMT+02:00

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The panda twins were born blind and with only a thin fuzz over their pink bodies at Schönbrunn Zoo in Vienna.
But as these newly released pictures show of the babies cuddling with their mum, the pandas have developed their trademark black-and-white fur.
And they are also seen happily playing with each other and being nurtured by their mother Yang Yang. The panda cubs are developing well and growing up fast according to zookeepers.
Although it is commonly known that Giant Pandas give birth to twins, the mother panda usually only nurtures the stronger of the two.
The next step will be name-giving. Because the survival rate for pandas in the first few weeks is only 50 percent, the Chinese tradition is to only name the newborns after 100 days.
While the zoo has already decided on the name of the female cub, by themselves in cooperation with their Chinese contractual partners, the public was invited to suggest names for the male panda cub. Over 2,000 proposals have been received at the zoo.
Zoo director Dagmar Schratter said: "There were so many great names that we had enough ideas for the next hundred young animals. The decision was really not easy for us and we would like to thank all who participated in the search for a name."
Panda enthusiasts can choose from three names on zoo's website. According to the zoo’s tradition, only Chinese names with "Fu" meaning "happy" were used.
The first possible name is "Fu Lin". Lin is the short form for the Chinese fable Quilin, which reminds us of a Unicorn and belongs to one of four animals with good omens. The second name refers to the fact that twins were born for the first time. "Fu Ban" means "Happy Half". The third name option is "Fu Xiong" and can be translated as "Happy Bear".
Online voting is open until 2nd November. Then the most-voted name for the male cub, as well as the name of his twin sister will be revealed to the public.
One week after mother Yang Yang gave birth in August, zoo keepers found out she had actually given birth to twins. They became suspicious when they heard sounds coming from the breeding box that indicated a second cub.
The pandas are the fourth and fifth to be born at the famous zoo following Fu Long in 2007, Fu Hu in 2010 and Fu Bao in 2013. Zookeepers say the baby pandas were probably conceived in March, when the mother Yang Yang and father Long Hui were spotted mating enthusiastically on several occasions.
Story continues below…
It is extremely rare for pandas to mate in captivity and the zoo described Yang Yang and Long Hui having sex as "sensational". Often pandas can only be bred by zoos using artificial insemination, which makes the new panda twins a special and extremely rare case.
The pandas are still behind closed doors in their panda habitat, but can be watched by camera.
Story courtesy of Central European News. 

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