National Zoo’s Baby Panda Gets The Perfect Name

FLOTUS Michelle Obama and Madame Peng Liyuan, the first lady of China, christened the youngest member of the endangered Giant Panda species today in a ceremony at the National Zoo honoring the newborn panda cub. According to the zoo, "Bei Bei" (pronounced bay bay) means "precious treasure" in Mandarin Chinese, and it's the perfect moniker for the little brother of two year-old female Bao Bao. So how's our baby boy doing so far? Mama bear Mei Xiang gave birth to Bei Bei just one month ago (the little guy's eyes aren't even open yet!), but he already weighs in at a robust three pounds, which is 10 times his birthweight. "A big, fat cub. That’s what we want," Zoo Director Dennis Kelly said to reporters before the ceremony.
Bei Bei is more than just a big, furry baby though. He's a symbol of political unity between two oft-at-odds superpowers; a beacon of U.S.-Chinese solidarity. “We do need more bonds to bring the people of our two countries ever more closer, and the giant panda are one of those bonds that we can celebrate to achieve that goal,” Madame Peng told reporters through a translator at the ceremony. Peng is visiting Washington D.C. with her husband, Chinese president Xi Jinping. In the past year, U.S.-China relations have been strained by accusations of cyber-hacking and economic turmoil. We can't say for sure the impact Bei Bei will have on world diplomacy. All we know is there's nothing we'd rather waste the work day doing, than watching the zoo's live feed of this little guy and his happy family. (The Washington Post)

More from News

R29 Original Series