San Diego Zoo Panda Cub Is a "Little Gift" Named Xiao Liwu

Photo taken on Nov. 13, 2012, by Ken Bohn, San Diego Zoo
Wednesday, November 14, 2012 - 9:08am

The San Diego Zoo unveiled the name of the sixth giant panda born at the Zoo during a public ceremony on Tuesday. Rick Gulley (left) president of the San Diego Zoo Global Board of Trustees and Ron Swaisgood, Ph.D. (right), co-head of the Giant Panda Team for San Diego Zoo Global, revealed a photo of the cub showing his name - Xiao Liwu. The name means "little gift." [Pronunciation is sshyaoww (falling then rising tone) lee (falling then rising tone) woo (falling tone)]

The San Diego Zoo follows the Chinese cultural tradition of naming the giant panda after it is 100 days old. The Zoo gave the public the opportunity to select the cub's name in a two-part process. The Zoo took open suggestions for names and received more than 7,000 submissions. Those submissions were narrowed down to six names and the public voted online on a name for the cub. Nearly 35,000 votes were cast for the cub's name. The winning name, Xiao Liwu, was submitted with the explanation "this cub is such a precious, little gift to our world."

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