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Zoo Atlanta's twin pandas get names for 100-day anniversary

Oct. 23, 2013 at 3:57 PM   |   Comments

ATLANTA, Oct. 23 (UPI) -- Zoo Atlanta announced the twin pandas born in July have officially been dubbed Mei Lin and Mei Huan.

The zoo said the names, which were chosen by the public in a vote co-organized by ABC's "Good Morning America," come from the Chinese idiom "Mei Lun Mei Huan," which is used to describe beautiful and magnificent objects, ABC News reported Wednesday.

The names were bestowed upon the pandas when they turned 100 days old, the traditional age for naming a panda in China.

The cubs are the first panda twins to survive birth in the United States, the zoo said.

The naming celebration was attended Atlanta Mayor Kasim Reed, zoo officials, local schoolchildren and panda enthusiasts from across the country.

"We in Atlanta and Georgia are fortunate stewards of these amazing animals, which are entrusted to our care on loan from China, but there are people around the world who feel a personal stake in their lives," Raymond King, president and chief executive officer of the zoo, said in a statement. "Giant pandas have a unique capacity to carry a conservation message, and engaging and uniting their many fans is one way we have of letting that message resonate even more powerfully."

© 2013 United Press International, Inc. All Rights Reserved. Any reproduction, republication, redistribution and/or modification of any UPI content is expressly prohibited without UPI's prior written consent.
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