The Washington Post

National Zoo’s red panda named for stormy night

Two red panda cubs were born at the National Zoo on June 17. One was named Damini, Nepalese for “lightning.” Her twin sister, however, was left unnamed. Until today. (Juan RodriguezSmithsonian's National Zoo.)

She is Pili, which means clap of thunder in Chinese.

Pili and her twin sister Damini were born at the Zoo’s Asia Trail on June 17. Damini, Nepalese for “lightning”, got her name right away. But zoo officials decided to open up her twin sister’s naming to a public vote.

The results of the vote, which was hosted by NBC 4, were announced Thursday. Zoo officials said they wanted to stick to storm-themed names, like “lightning,” since the cubs were born on a stormy night.

Pili and Damini were the second set of red panda twins born this year. The first set was born June 5 at the Smithsonian Conservation Biology Institute in Front Royal, Va.


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