- Created on Tuesday, 23 October 2012 21:08
- Written by Imperial Valley News
San Diego, California - The San Diego Zoo’s panda cub was more interested in walking and moving than weights and measurements during his weekly exam this morning. The panda cub was also very vocal this morning, seeming to object to staff trying to hold him still for measurements. However, the sound of his bleeting didn’t disrupt his mother’s breakfast, which is within hearing range of the exam room.
The 12-week-old giant panda’s new-found mobility made it challenging for the Giant Panda Team to take precise measurements of his length. But using a larger scale ensured the accuracy of his weight – 7.7 pounds (3.5 kilograms). His girth is growing, too – his chest measured 14.9 inches (38 centimeters) around and his abdomen measured 15.7 inches (40 centimeters).
The physical exam of the cub showed that he is developing as expected and in the same ranges as the other six cubs born at the San Diego Zoo. He also received his second set of vaccines – rabies and canine distemper. And similar to his first round of vaccines, the cub seemed unfazed by the needle.
The panda is approaching another milestone in his life – receiving a name. Public voting for the cubs’ name begins online today. There are six choices for the public to vote on, which was narrowed down from more than 7,000 name suggestions received in September.
The names up for vote are:
Qi Ji (Qíjī) which means miracle. The Chinese characters are 奇迹
Yu Di (Yǔdī) which means raindrop. The Chinese characters are 雨滴
Da Hai (Dàhǎi) which means Big Ocean/Big Sea. The Chinese characters are 大海
Xiao Liwu (Xiǎo lǐwù) which means Little Gift. The Chinese characters are 小礼物
Yong Er (Yǒng er) which means Brave Son. The Chinese characters are 勇儿
Shui Long (Shuǐlóng) which means Water Dragon. The Chinese characters are 水龙
Voting will take place online at http://donate.sandiegozoo.org/pandaname, and will accept votes until 5 p.m. Pacific time on Tuesday, October 30. The voting site will allow one vote per email address. The name that receives the most votes will become the cub’s name. The San Diego Zoo follows the Chinese cultural tradition of naming the giant panda after it is 100 days old and the name of the panda cub will be announced in mid-November during a public ceremony at the Zoo. More details will be available soon.
The soon-to-be-named cub is the sixth giant panda born at the San Diego Zoo. The cub’s mother, Bai Yun, has given birth to a single cub in 1999, 2003, 2005, 2007, 2009 and to this cub on July 29. Five of Bai Yun’s cubs were conceived through natural mating. Only the first, in 1999, was the result of artificial insemination. Just 1,600 giant pandas are believed to exist in the wild, and the species is primarily threatened by habitat loss. San Diego Zoo Global, in conjunction with Chinese panda experts, is working to support science-based conservation of the species
Viewers of Panda Cam, the Zoo’s 24-hour live online camera feed, may catch glimpses of the cub learning to walk. Visit www.sandiegozoo.org/pandacam to watch.
The San Diego Zoo’s giant pandas are on a research loan from the People’s Republic of China. As part of this long-term program, the Zoo is also collaborating with the Chinese Academy of Science in studies of behavior, ecology, genetics and conservation of wild pandas living in the Foping Nature Reserve.
Only 1,600 giant pandas are believed to exist in the wild, and the species is primarily threatened by habitat loss. San Diego Zoo Global, in conjunction with Chinese panda experts, continues to work on science-based panda conservation programs.
The San Diego Zoo Global Wildlife Conservancy is dedicated to bringing endangered species back from the brink of extinction. The work of the Conservancy includes onsite wildlife conservation efforts at the San Diego Zoo, San Diego Zoo Safari Park, San Diego Zoo Institute for Conservation Research, and international field programs in more than 35 countries. In addition, San Diego Zoo Global manages the Anne and Kenneth Griffin Reptile Conservation Center, the Frozen ZooTM and Native Seed Gene Bank, the Keauhou and Maui Hawaii Endangered Bird Conservation Centers, San Clemente Loggerhead Shrike Breeding Facility, Cocha Cashu Biological Research Station, the Desert Tortoise Conservation Center, and a 800-acre biodiversity reserve adjacent to the San Diego Zoo Safari Park. The important conservation and science work of these entities is supported in part by The Foundation of the Zoological Society of San Diego.