Japanese zoo asks public to name its new panda cub
Published: Dec 23, 2020 07:33 PM
In November, giant panda Liang Bang gave birth to her baby cub in Japan. Now, a month later, the zoo is turning to the world for a name for the female cub. Adventure World, the zoo where the cub was born, has recently launched a webpage open to worldwide baby name suggestions. 

Giant panda Liang Bang's new cub was born on November 22. Photos: Courtesy of Adventure World

Since it is difficult to determine the sex of a newborn panda cub, the Chengdu Research Base of Giant Panda Breeding and Japanese experts have only recently determined that the cub is female. 

This cub is the 17th giant panda to be born in Japan since the panda base in Chengdu and Adventure World in western Japan's Wakayama Prefecture began cooperating. 

The baby panda weighs 1,009 grams.

One week old

The naming campaign is called the "Smile Birth Project," which implies that the inheritance of life is the inheritance of hope, according to the project's official website. 

The solicitation period starts on Thursday and ends on February 23, 2021. People may also mail in their suggestions on a postcard. 

In the end, the name of the baby panda will be selected by Adventure World's "Baby Panda Naming Committee." 

The final name will be announced at Adventure World park and on the organization's official website.

Two weeks old

According to a report from Japan's Mainichi Shimbun on Tuesday, the baby panda was originally determined to be male just after birth because the distance between its anus and urinary meatus was found to be longer than what is conventionally found in females. However, on Monday palpation revealed the cub did not have testicles, thereby confirming the cub was female. 

Mother and daughter

Adventure World's Deputy Director Tatsuko Nakao said, "Pandas are born with undeveloped reproductive organs so it's difficult to distinguish them. However, the way we rear them is the same for both males and females."

Giant panda Liang Bang's new female cub at Adventure World in Shirahama, Japan's Wakayama Prefecture, on Sunday Photo: Courtesy of Adventure World

The public debut of the cub was originally scheduled for the end of 2020, but was delayed to prevent the spread of the coronavirus. It will now take place sometime after mid-January 2021 to prevent the spread of the coronavirus.