WASHINGTON, Oct. 23 (Xinhua) -- The twin giant panda cubs in Zoo Atlanta, the first surviving pair of panda twins ever born in the United States, now get their names 100 days after birth according to a Chinese tradition, the zoo announced on Wednesday.
Cub A and Cub B, born to female giant panda Lun Lun on July 15, have been officially named Mei Lun and Mei Huan, which originate from a Chinese idiom meaning "something indescribably beautiful and magnificent," the zoo made the announcement via live broadcast on ABC's Good Morning America.
"We're delighted to finally be able to place names with two youngsters who have not only made an indelible mark on the history of Zoo Atlanta, but who have also made history in the U.S.. We are excited to have partnered with Good Morning America on bringing the celebration of their names to a national audience," said Raymond B. King, president and CEO of the zoo. "We share this joy with our colleagues in China and with the cubs' fans around the world."
The winning names were selected by a national vote from five sets of names provided by the zoo's partners at the Chengdu Research Base of Giant Panda Breeding in China. The voting contest opened on Oct. 9 and closed on Oct.21, hosted online through Good Morning America, drew 51,000 votes nationwide.
The 100th day of name-announcement ceremony and celebration follows an ancient Chinese tradition which holds that when a child reaches the 100th day of life, he or she has survived the risky fragility of infancy and may be considered on track for a successful future, said the zoo.
The twins' older brothers were also named according to this tradition.
Lun Lun and her male partner, Yang Yang, who came to the zoo in 1999 on loan from China, have produced five cubs so far, all of them male. Mei Lan, the eldest born in 2006, has returned to China, while the next two still live at the zoo. The name of Xi Lan, born in 2008, means the joy of Atlanta, while Po, born in 2010, is named after the Kung Fu Panda in Dreamworks' animated film.
The twins are expected to make their public debut on exhibit later this fall, the zoo said.