Last chance to help name the panda cub

November 21, 2013

Look at her, wrestling with the unfathomable uncertainty that comes with lacking a true identity to call one’s own. (Photo by Abby Wood/Smithsonian’s National Zoo)

The National Zoo’s giant panda cub is still without an official name. But she’ll have one in a little under two weeks.

First, though, the contest allowing people to vote on a name has to wrap up. Panda fans have until tomorrow (Nov. 22) to vote for their favorite name. You can vote here, if you haven’t voted already.

The winning name will be announced on Dec. 1, when the cub turns 100 days old. Until then, the cub will presumably be wandering her panda enclave without a formal identity, something that John Locke once said gives a being the ability to “consider itself as itself.”

The zoo says the ceremony revealing the name will be open to the public, though space will be limited.

Here are the contenders for the baby panda’s name:

• Bao Bao (which means precious or treasure, according to the zoo)
• Ling Hua (means darling or delicate flower)
• Long Yun (Long is Chinese symbol of the dragon, while Yun means charming)
• Mulan (a legendary Chinese warrior, though the name may be more commonly known in the U.S. because of the 1998 Disney movie)
• Zhen Bao (means treasure or valuable)

Oh, what’s that? You missed the video of the panda cub taking her first steps released earlier this week? Fine, twist my arm, I’ll post it again:

In a momentous occasion, the baby panda at the National Zoo took her first tentative steps. (Smithsonian National Zoo)
Mark Berman is a reporter on the National staff. He runs Post Nation, a destination for breaking news and developing stories from around the country.
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