Baby Panda Will Be . . .
(Vote for Name Here)
* It's almost time to stop calling him "baby panda."
The National Zoo is ready to name the male cub born on July 9 and it wants the help of panda fans all over the world. The five finalists for the panda's name were chosen by the China Wildlife Conservation Association and the zoo's Panda House staff. But for the first time, the public will get to choose the name of one of the world's most endangered animals.
The choices and their simple pronunciations:
* Hua Sheng (hwah-SHUNG): China Washington, magnificent.
* Sheng Hua (SHUNG-hwah): Washington China, magnificent.
* Tai Shan (tie-SHON): peaceful mountain.
* Long Shan (lohng-SHON): dragon mountain.
* Qiang Qiang (chee-ONG chee-ONG): strong, powerful.
To vote for a name, go to nationalzoo.si.edu/Animals/GiantPandas/NamePandaCub. You can vote until Sept. 30. The name will be announced in October.
The zoo also has a contest just for kids. Pennies for Pandas encourages kids ages 6-14 to come up with clever ideas to raise money to help save the animals. Four winners will get to "meet" the zoo's pandas. For details, go to the panda name Web site and click on "Pennies for Pandas."