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Your morning adorable: Thailand's celebrity panda cub celebrates a milestone

September 4, 2009 | 11:31 am

Lin Ping, the giant panda cub at Thailand's Chiang Mai Zoo, at 100 days

We'll be the first to admit it: We didn't find Lin Ping, the giant panda cub born in late May at Thailand's Chiang Mai Zoo, terribly cute at first. (It's nothing personal -- no giant panda is born looking particularly fetching, but they sure do make up for it as they grow up.)

But the cub recently hit a milestone -- 100 days of age -- and now, we're happy to say, she is so adorable it's almost painful to look at her. And the Thai public seems to feel the same way we do about Lin Ping, the first giant panda ever born in Thailand. To celebrate her one-month birthday, revelers in June enjoyed a giant cake. Thai elephant keepers resorted to an unorthodox protest -- painting their pachyderm charges to resemble giant pandas -- to draw attention to the elephants' plight as the public's interest shifted toward Lin Ping. And, when it came time to name the cub, more than 20 million votes were received.

The name Lin Ping is representative both of the cub's Chinese heritage (her parents are on loan to the Chiang Mai Zoo from China) and her Thai birthplace. The name, which translates to "forest of ice" in Chinese, honors the cub's mother, Lin Hui, and calls to mind the name of the Ping, a river in Thailand.  

-- Lindsay Barnett

Photo: Pongmanat Tasiri / European Pressphoto Agency

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