In the past few weeks, around 12,000 fans of Tiergarten Schönbrunn’s Giant Panda twins cast their online votes for names for the popular, wiggly duo.
Almost half of the votes were in favor of the Chinese name Fu Ban, which translates to “Happy Companion, Happy Half” and refers to the fact that there are twins. Fu Ban is the name being given to the male cub. Fu Feng, the name given to the female, was chosen by the Zoo. Feng stands for “phoenix”, which together with the dragon forms the imperial couple in Chinese mythology.
“Ever since our first young Panda was given the name Fu Long, we were keeping Fu Feng in mind for a female offspring,” explains the Zoo’s director, Dagmar Schratter.
The Panda twins were born to mom, Yang Yang, on August 7. They will be officially named on November 23, in a traditional name-giving ceremony. There will also be a big family celebration on November 27.
Aside from their un-official naming, the twins were also recently weighed. Keepers took advantage of Yang Yang being away in the outdoor enclosure. The female offspring tipped the scales at 4.26 kilograms, while the male weighed 3.97 kilograms. Schratter remarked, “This is a fantastic weight. Compared to the other young Pandas born in Schönbrunn, this is exactly average. Fu Long was a little bit lighter at that age, our second offspring Fu Hu and the third one Fu Bao were a bit heavier.”
After the weighing process, the twins were of course returned immediately to their tree hollow in the indoor enclosure. The Zoo will allow Yang Yang and the twins to decide when they will make a public appearance for visitors. Towards the end of the year, they will probably be big enough to climb out of their tree hollow.