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Your morning adorable: Thailand's celebrity panda cub waves to her fans

September 28, 2009 | 11:45 am

Lin Ping, the Chiang Mai Zoo's female panda cub

Thailand's panda-watching public was captivated Saturday when the Chiang Mai Zoo's most adorable resident (sorry; we can't be objective where giant pandas are concerned), Lin Ping, "waved" from the zoo's panda enclosure. The cub had made her official public debut back in July, but Saturday marked the first time she'd been able to cavort before an audience at the zoo's panda exhibit.

The cub was born at the zoo in late May, and her birth came as a wonderful surprise to zoo staff, who didn't know her mother was pregnant. Since then, she's been a big star in Thailand -- as she should be, since she's the first of her species ever successfully bred in the country. The zoo held a contest to name her, and members of the public voted overwhelmingly for the name Lin Ping.  It's representative both of her birthplace (the Ping is a river in Thailand) and her Chinese heritage -- both her parents are on loan to Thailand from China, and Lin Ping translates to "forest of ice" in Chinese. The name also honors Lin Ping's mother, Lin Hui.

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-- Lindsay Barnett

Photo: Lin Ping is cared for by a veterinarian at the Chiang Mai Zoo's panda enclosure. Credit: European Pressphoto Agency

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