WASHINGTON — After receiving nearly 135,000 votes on several names for the Smithsonian’s National Zoo and Conservation Biology Institute’s baby panda, the results are in!
Drum roll, please...
Meet, Xiao Qi Ji (SHIAU-chi-ji), which translates as “little miracle” in English, the National Zoo said.
People were able to choose from a list of four possible names, Fu Zai (fu-tzai), Xiao Qi ji (shiau-chi-ji) , Xing Fu (shing-fu) and Zai Zai (tzai-tzai). And the winning name was Xiao Qi Ji!
The 3-month-old giant panda, during his last weigh-in, reached a whopping 10 pounds 4 ounces. National Zoo officials say that the panda cub excels at napping, nursing and cuddling with his mother, Mei Xiang.
Zoo officials said the cub is a bit of a miracle baby, given that Mei Xiang had less than a 1% chance of getting pregnant due to her age. She’s 22.
It’s reported that he’s growing into a feisty little character, hitting all his growth milestones. His eyes and ears are now open, and he’s begun to practice crawling under mom’s watchful eye. Liking what she sees, she has begun taking him on little trips outside their enclosure.
Barring any issues, he’ll be here in D.C. until he’s 4 years old, so there will be opportunities to pay him a visit in the future. After that, per the agreement, he’ll be moving to China.
To learn more about the Giant Panda naming initiative by the Smithsonian National Zoo, click here.