Thailands latest (and possibly greatest) tourist attraction, the tiny panda cub born at Chiang Mai Zoo in May, finally has a name - Linping.
Chosen as the result of a national competition to select a name for the baby mammal, more than 22 million postcards were received with over 60 percent of those voting for Linping - a name that means ice forest in Chinese.
The name was one of four selected from an initial list of more than 300 names originally submitted. The other three names and their meanings were:
Kwan Thai a Thai expression meaning, darling of the Thai people.
Tai Jin meaning Thai gold but can also refer to the Thai-Chinese relationship as jin is the Thai way of saying China.
Ying Ying Chinese for prosperity, while in Thai ying means girl.
Minister of Natural Resources and Environment, Suvit Khunkitti, said the name was a good choice as it blended the name of the cubs mother, Lin Hui, meaning beautiful forest with that of Chiang Mais major river, the Ping.
Born as a result of artificial insemination by Thai veterinarians at Chiang mai Zoo, Linping has become possibly Thailands most popular tourist attractions since she went on display in June.
There are an estimated 1,600 pandas living in the wild in China and about 180 being raised in zoos worldwide.
By John Le Fevre
Thailand Travel News for August 11, 2009
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