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And The National Zoo's Panda Cub Shall Be Known As... Bao Bao

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Bao Bao was born in late August to Mei Xiang.
National Zoo
Bao Bao was born in late August to Mei Xiang.

The National Zoo is naming its giant panda cub Bao Bao after receiving hundreds of thousands of votes from the public.

Bao Bao received her name during a special ceremony at the zoo on Sunday to mark her 100th day of life. The name means "treasure" or "precious."

The cub has been an Internet sensation since her birth in late August, with fans in D.C. and around the world glued to the zoo's Panda Cam, which streams video of the panda over the web.

So it was fitting the zoo held an online contest to pick the new name. Over 120,000 people voted on five names — and Bao Bao came out on top. The other names in contention were Ling Hua, Long Yun, Mulan and Zhen Bao.

Dignitaries from the U.S. and China were on hand for the ceremony, which included a video message from First Lady Michelle Obama, who lauded the relationship between the two countries.

The National Zoo first received a state gift of two giant pandas in 1972, following President Richard Nixon's historic visit to China.

The cub will live at the zoo until she turns four; then she will go to China to live.

For now the only way to see Bao Bao is on the internet via the panda cam. Zoo officials expect the cub to make her public debut early next year.

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