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Zoo Atlanta announces names for panda twins

The names originate from a Chinese idiom meaning “something indescribably beautiful and magnificent”

A pair of giant panda twins born to Lun Lun at Zoo Atlanta were named on Oct. 23 Mei Lun and Mei Huan.

A pair of giant panda twins born to Lun Lun at Zoo Atlanta were named on Oct. 23 Mei Lun and Mei Huan.

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A pair of giant panda twins born to Lun Lun are pictured at Zoo Atlanta in Atlanta in this July 15, 2013 picture provided by Zoo Atlanta. A giant panda at the Atlanta zoo delivered an extra bundle of joy on Monday when she gave birth to twins, an apparent surprise to zoo officials who had been excitedly anticipating the birth of a single cub. REUTERS/Zoo Atlanta/Handout via Reuters

ATLANTA – One hundred days of “Cub A” and “Cub B” are over, and the twin giant panda cubs at Zoo Atlanta have officially been named Mei Lun (may loon) and Mei Huan (may hwaan).

The names, which originate from a Chinese idiom meaning “something indescribably beautiful and magnificent,” were announced via live broadcast on Good Morning America today.

“We’re delighted to finally be able to place names with two youngsters who have not only made an indelible mark on the history of Zoo Atlanta, but who have also made history in the U.S. We’re excited to have partnered with Good Morning America on bringing the celebration of their names to a national audience,” said Raymond B. King, President and CEO. “We share this joy with our colleagues in China and with the cubs’ fans around the world.”

The winning names were selected by national vote from five sets of monikers provided by partners at the Chengdu Research Base of Giant Panda Breeding in China. Hosted online through Good Morning America, the voting contest opened on October 9, 2013, and closed on October 21, 2013, with over 51,000 votes nationwide.

The 100 Day Celebration follows an ancient Chinese tradition that holds that when a child reaches his or her 100th day of life, he or she has survived the risky fragility of infancy and may be considered on track for a successful future. Mei Lun’s and Mei Huan’s older brothers, Mei Lan, Xi Lan and Po, were also named according to this tradition.

Born July 15, 2013, Mei Lun and Mei Huan are the first surviving pair of giant panda twins ever born in the U.S. and are the fourth and fifth offspring of Lun Lun and Yang Yang. The pair’s first offspring, Mei Lan, born in 2006, now resides at the Chengdu Research Base of Giant Panda Breeding. Their second and third, Xi Lan, born in 2008, and Po, born in 2010, presently reside at Zoo Atlanta.

The duo is expected to make their public debut on exhibit in the Arthur M. Blank Family Foundation Giant Panda Conservation Center later this fall.

ZooAtlanta.org