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The votes are in: panda cub officially named Yuanzai

2013/10/16 18:35:32

(Photo courtesy of Taipei Zoo)

Taipei, Oct. 16 (CNA) After more than three months going by the nickname Yuanzai, Taipei Zoo's panda cub has finally gotten a real name thanks to online voters -- who unsurprisingly felt that what is not broken does not need to be fixed.

The poll to choose a permanent name closed Tuesday night, with the majority of the 75,000 voters deciding to stick with Yuanzai, which literally means "child of Yuan Yuan."

The endearing nickname, which is also a name for glutinous riceballs commonly called tangyuan, gained the support of 60 percent of voters since the poll opened Sept. 14.

A lucky draw activity will continue to run on the voting website,, up through Oct. 26, when Taipei Zoo will hold a celebration to mark its centennial. Zookeepers will then present Yuanzai with an "ID card" featuring her new name.

The zoo says the cub and Yuan Yuan, her mother and namesake, are getting along well, and that Yuan Yuan is a natural at child-rearing.

At 102 days old, Yuanzai is growing into a healthy young panda at 6.39 kilograms and has begun slowly mastering the art of walking.

As for the names that did not make the cut, they are, in order of popular vote, Yuanbao, or "Yuan Yuan's treasure;" Yuanzaihua, the Taiwanese name for the flower known as bachelor's button; Fenyuan, a type of tapioca ball; Tuanyuan, literally "reunion" and a combination of parents' names Tuan Tuan and Yuan Yuan; and Tangyuan, a sort of glutinous rice ball.

(By Tai Ya-chen and Elizabeth Hsu)