The National Zoo’s baby giant panda finally has a name. The cub’s name is Xiao Qi Ji, (SHIAU-chi-ji), which translates as “little miracle” in English.
The panda cub is now 3 months old. The zoo ran a contest in which the public could vote on a list of names. After five days, the zoo said nearly 135,000 votes came in, and Xiao Qi Ji was the winner. It was one of four Mandarin Chinese names that zoo officials put online for the public to pick.
In a statement Monday, zoo officials said, “giant pandas are an international symbol of endangered wildlife and hope, and Xiao Qi Ji’s birth offered the world a much-needed moment of joy amidst the COVID-19 pandemic.” It added, “His name reflects the extraordinary circumstances under which he was born and celebrates the collaboration between colleagues who strive to conserve this species.”
The zoo is closed due to the pandemic, but viewers can see the baby panda on the online panda camera.
All pandas at the zoo move to China when they are 4 years old as part of the zoo’s breeding agreement with China.