3-month-old panda in Washington zoo named 'Little Miracle'
- Nearly 135,000 people voted between November 16 and 20 to choose among four Mandarin Chinese names
- The panda was named Xiao Qi Ji, who was born on August 21 to Mei Xiang
- Mei Xiang is the second-oldest documented giant panda in the world to give birth
A three-month-old panda born at a zoo in Washington has been named Xiao Qi Ji, or "Little Miracle" after the majority of voters chose the name online, said the authorities on Monday.
Xiao Qi Ji along with three other Mandarin Chinese names was put for vote online and nearly 135,000 people voted between November 16 and 20, the Smithsonian's National Zoo said in a statement.
"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 amid the COVID-19 pandemic," the zoo said.
Xiao Qi Ji was born on August 21 to 22-year-old Mei Xiang, who is the second-oldest documented giant panda in the world to give birth. Mei Xiang, who has now given birth to four surviving offspring, was artificially inseminated in March with frozen semen from Tian Tian, 23.
To see the newly born panda and Mei Xiang, more than 1.5 million tuned in on the zoo's Giant Panda Cam.
"Watching Xiao Qi Ji always puts a smile on my face," said Steve Monfort, director of the Smithsonian's National Zoo and Conservation Biology Institute.
"We are grateful that those who share in our joy have helped us pick the perfect name for our panda cub."