The new panda cub of National Xu has a name: Xiao Qi Jie, [pronounced SHIAU-chi-ji] A Mandarin Chinese name meaning “little miracle.”
The three-month-old giant panda was named after five days of online voting, with more than 100,000 people casting ballots, the Smithsonian Institute said in a press release announcing the name.
Xiao Qi’s mother, Mei Xiang, was artificially inspired on March 22 by the cub’s father, Tian Tian. The pregnancy was confirmed in an ultrasound on 14 August.
National Xu’s website Mei Xiang gave birth to Xiao Qi Jie on August 21.
The breeding program of the giant panda at the Smithsonian Institute’s National Zoo begins in 1972. President Richard Nixon traveled to Beijing for China’s famous inauguration, where officials offered to send a pair of giant pandas as an offer of good will.
Giant pandas are highly endangered animals. According to the World Wildlife Foundation, in 2014 there were fewer than 2,000 giant pandas living in the wild. However, the exact number is unknown. Scientists believe the wild panda population has increased again since the 1970s, the first time China surveyed the animal.
The National Zoo’s breeding program has had mixed success due to the difficulty that giant pandas often breed in captivity; For the first 20 years after arriving in Washington in 1972, all five of the sex and sex cubs died within days after birth.
According to the National Zhu Panda Cam, until Tuesday morning, Xiao Qi Jie was sleeping with her mother.