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VOTE: You can help name the D.C. panda cub

Posted at 10:03 AM, Nov 06, 2013
and last updated 2013-11-06 10:07:06-05

(CNN) — She’s cute, she’s fluffy and now she wants your vote as the Smithsonian’s National Zoo invites Americans to cast one more ballot on Election Day to name the Giant Panda cub.

Online voting on opened Tuesday at 2 p.m. ET and will run until November 22. According to a statement from the National Zoo, the cub’s name will be unveiled December 1, the date when the cub will be 100 days old and when babies are celebrated in Chinese culture.

According to the statement, voters will have one of five Mandarin Chinese names to pick from:

· “Bao Bao (宝宝) – precious, treasure. (bow-BOW)”

· “Ling Hua (玲花) – darling, delicate flower. (ling-HWA)”

· “Long Yun (龙韵) – long is the Chinese symbol of the dragon, yun means charming. Combined this represents a sign of luck for panda cooperation between China and the U.S. (long-YOON)”

· “Mulan (木兰) – a legendary young woman, a smart and brave Chinese warrior from the fifth century; it also means magnolia flower in Chinese. (moo-LAHN)”

· “Zhen Bao (珍宝) – treasure, valuable. (jen-BAO)”

The potential names were submitted by China’s ambassador to the United States, the U.S. ambassador to China, panda keepers at the National Zoo and their Chinese counterparts and Friends of the National Zoo.

Now five months old, the once five-ounce cub weighs in at 8.14 pounds and has opened her eyes and begun to crawl.

Visitors will be able to see her outside the much-trafficked web cams when she makes her public debut sometime next year. She’ll be sent back to China at age four for the giant panda breeding program there.

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