ENVIRONMENT

Atlanta Panda Twins Celebrate 100 Days With New Names

Future looks bright for Lun Lun's happy, healthy daughters.

A lucky 100 days has passed since the birth of twin pandas at Atlanta’s zoo, so they’ve been officially named.

In a ceremony Monday, Cub A and Cub B became Ya Lun and Xi Lun. They’re daughters of resident Lun Lun, a giant panda that has given birth to twins once before.

Ya means “elegant” and Xi means “happy,” according to the zoo.

“We’re thrilled to announce two beautiful and meaningful names for two healthy, thriving, 100-day-old giant panda cubs,” said Zoo Atlanta president Raymond King.

Giant panda twins Ya Lun, left, and Xi Lun cuddle up together in Atlanta.
Giant panda twins Ya Lun, left, and Xi Lun cuddle up together in Atlanta.

 

The names were picked with the help of members of the public, who cast 23,000 votes for one of seven pair choices for the indescribably cute babies. The names were all suggested by the zoo’s conservation partner, a panda breeding research station in the Chinese city of Chengdu.

In honor of their Chinese heritage, the nation’s only current panda twins were named in a special 100-day celebration, an ancient Chinese tradition recognizing the time milestone as a signal that continued survival is likely.

The twins were pink, hairless and the size of a stick of butter at birth — 900 times smaller than their mom. Now, they’re solid pounds of fur, and reaching all of their development milestones (they’re still learning to walk), according to the zoo keepers who blog about the sisters’ progress. They won’t be making their public debut until later this month or next month. But the zoo has shared photos and videos of the pair. It also features a live “panda cam” on its website.

The panda twins have five older siblings all born at the zoo. They now live in Chengdu.

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