The giant pandas twins born at Ueno Zoo in Tokyo in June were given their names on Friday – Lei Lei for the little female and Xiao Xiao for her brother. They were chosen from hundreds of thousands of suggestions sent in by fans across Japan.
The twin cubs, which were pink, palm-sized creatures when they were born on June 23, have grown up and now have their unique black and white blocks, with black fur around their eyes, ears, and limbs. , said the Associated Press.
Tokyo Governor Yuriko Koike announced their names at his weekly press conference. She said that Xiao Xiao means “the dawn light which becomes brighter”, and Lei Lei depicts a bud becoming a beautiful flower and developing a bright future.
“Together, Xiao Xiao and Lei Lei can signify a bright dawn leading into the future. I think their names have a very bright image, ”she said.
In a short video Koike played, the siblings in a crib cuddled, crawled slowly, and fell asleep. “Adorable,” she said, and played the video twice.
Like elsewhere in the world, pandas are extremely popular in Japan. Before deciding on their names, Tokyo officials even set up a name selection committee.
Tokyo zoo and government officials chose the names from more than 190,000 entries sent from all over Japan and after consulting with Giant Panda National Park in China, which owns the pandas.
The two weigh about 6 kilograms (13.2 pounds) – nearly 50 times their birth weight – and about 60 centimeters (2 feet) long, according to the zoo.
Koike said the little pandas are still being raised inside the zoo, but their debut is expected in January when they are 6 months old, with their mother panda.