What would you name the National Zoo's baby Panda?

11:27 PM, Nov 21, 2013   |    comments
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WASHINGTON (WUSA9) -- If you've never named anything before, now you have a chance. 

The Smithsonian National Zoo's baby panda will be selecting one of the following names: 

Bao Bao (precious, treasure), Ling Hua (darling, delicate flower), Long Yun (Long is the Chinese symbol of the dragon; Yun means charming. Combined this represents a sign of luck for panda cooperation between China and the United States), Mulan (legendary young woman, a smart and brave Chinese warrior from the fifth century; also the name for the magnolia flower in China and the United States), or Zhen Bao (treasure, valuable).

The public can vote for the name they want here. 

To get an early sense of which name people like most, WUSA9 took the list of names to the National Zoo on Thursday, the night before Friday, November 22nd's voting deadline, and asked around.

"Zhen Bao," said one young woman. "It sounds prettier."

Her mother agreed. "Yes, it sounds pretty and powerful."

"Out of those I'd pick Mulan," said another woman. Her reasoning was based on the 2001 movie Moulin Rouge. 

"I'd do the same," said the woman's husband, admitting that his reasoning was based on his wife's answer. "Yea, the woman is always right," he laughed.

"Zhen Bao," one man said. "Because it means treasure and valuable and she is our valuable, national treasure."

The man's girlfriend went with the more popular choice: Mulan. "Because she's an excellent Chinese warrior female. Female power," she said, with pride.

One man leaving the zoo was not a fan of any of the options. 

"All of them kind of upset me because none of them rhyme with 'panda,'" he joked. "I'd go, Amanda the Panda, or even if it just almost, kind of rhymes, like, Brenda the Penda or Linda the Pinda, Melinda the Pinda." 

Some other write-in choices that are not on the list that others suggested included "Bamboo," "Ethan" - which Lillyiana Grishton, 3, suggested because "that's {her} brother's name" - and "Bob," suggested by one family visiting from Denver, only to opt for "Bobbi" once they learned that the baby panda is a female.

The National Zoo's Giant Panda Exhibit Animal Keeper, Nicole MacCorkle, said, "I think they're all really  nice names and they're all really meaningful. And, you know, anything - we'll be happy with whatever she gets."

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