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Panda cub’s new name means ‘precious treasure’

© Leesburg Today - 09/25/2015

Our panda cub has a name: Bei Bei.

Pronounced BAY-BAY, it means ""precious treasure"" and is complementary to the cub's sister, Bao Bao.

""In celebration of the state visit and as a special honor for the cub, the name was selected by First Lady of the United States, Michelle Obama, and First Lady of the People's Republic of China, Peng Liyuan,"" the National Zoo wrote Friday morning.

The name was chosen from submissions from panda keepers at the National Zoo and the China Conservation and Research Center for the Giant Panda, where the cub will live after he turns 4 years old.

Bei Bei and a twin were born to mom Mei Xiang Aug. 22, but the smaller cub died a few days later.

Mei Xiang was artificially inseminated in April with sperm from two pandas, Tian Tian -- the father of her two other cubs -- and another male in China. Paternity tests confirmed that Tian Tian is also Bei Bei's father.

The cub now weighs closed to three pounds, lifts himself up on his front paws and scoots around the den when Mei puts him down. He likely won't be on display at the zoo until early 2016.

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