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New panda at San Diego Zoo has a name: Xiao Liwu, 'little gift'

Unveiling of the name for the zoo's latest panda by Rick Gulley, left, president of the San Diego Zoo Global board of trustees, and Ron Swaisgood, co-head of the panda team for San Diego Zoo Global. Credit: Ken Bohn / San Diego Zoo

In a ceremony complete with zither music and a troupe of lion dancers, the latest panda cub born at the San Diego Zoo was given a name Tuesday: Xiao Liwu, translated as "little gift" and pronounced "sshyaoww-lee-woo."

In keeping with Chinese tradition, the panda received its name upon becoming 100 days old. The name was selected by popular vote of zoo patrons: 7,000 submissions were whittled to six finalists by Chinese officials; nearly 35,000 zoo patrons then voted on the six.

Xiao Liwu is the sixth cub born at the San Diego Zoo to Bai Yun. Four of her offspring have moved to China, under terms of the loan agreement between the zoo and Chinese officials.

Mother and cub are viewable on the zoo's panda cam, but it will still be several weeks before Xiao Liwu will be mature enough to be on public display, zoo officials said.

The San Diego Zoo has four pandas:  Bai Yun, her mate Gao Gao, 3-year-old Yun Zi, and now Xiao Liwu, more than any zoo in the United States.

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--Tony Perry in San Diego

Photo: Unveiling of the name for the zoo's latest panda by Rick Gulley, left, president of the San Diego Zoo Global board of trustees, and Ron Swaisgood, co-head of the panda team for San Diego Zoo Global. Credit: Ken Bohn / San Diego Zoo

 
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