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Your morning adorable: Giant panda mother and cub at Thailand's Chiang Mai Zoo

June 30, 2009 | 11:31 am

Panda cub in Thailand

We're hard-pressed to think of anything cuter than an adult giant panda -- but we're not so sure we can say we feel the same about panda infants.  Therefore, we qualify this edition of Your Morning Adorable by saying that we find mother panda Lin Hui's devotion to her month-old cub adorable (even if the cub herself may not be so adorable yet).

The cub was born in late May at Chiang Mai Zoo in Thailand; the birth was a big surprise to zoo staff, who'd previously tried for years to breed pandas without success.  Staff didn't even know Lin Hui was pregnant until she gave birth, and the healthy cub has taken the Thai public by storm.  The cub has been featured on newspaper covers, and her 1-month birthday was celebrated with a cake weighing more than 200 pounds.  The zoo reports that plush panda dolls are selling like hotcakes, and it's holding a contest to name the baby.  (On the short list are Kwan Thai, which translates to "a darling of the Thai people"; Lin Bing, which translates to "a forest of ice"; Ying Ying, which translates to "prosperity"; and Tai Jin, which translates to "Thai gold," according to the Bangkok Post.)

The cub's birth makes Thailand only the third country (behind Japan and the U.S.) other than China to have successfully bred a giant panda in captivity, the Associated Press reports.  [Correction: Readers Tess and cubsfan723 point out that Vienna's Sch√∂nbrunn Zoo was also the site of a successful giant panda birth.]  More photos of mother and baby after the jump!

Panda cub in Thailand

Panda cub in Thailand

[Correction: An earlier version of this post said the name Ying Ying translates to "Thai gold" and Tai Jin translates to "prosperity."  Astute reader abugida pointed out that it's actually the reverse, and we've corrected the error.  Thanks, abugida!]

-- Lindsay Barnett

1st photo: European Pressphoto Agency
2nd photo: Wichai Taprieu / Associated Press
3rd photo: Pongmanat Tasiri / European Pressphoto Agency

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