The pair of Japanese crested ibis chicks that hatched in early May at a conservation center on Sado Island were named Monday. The hatchling believed to be a male will be called Shin Shin, and the one believed to be a female will be known as Ai Ai, Environment Agency head Kayoko Shimizu said.
Shin Shin’s name is rendered using the character for new and was selected for the new century and for its use in the words Nibo and Niigata — the village and the prefecture where it hatched.
“I think it is a hopeful name,” Shimizu said.
Ai Ai’s name uses the character for love and indicates the hope that she will be loved by the people, Shimizu added.
The new monikers were selected from 34 proposed names — 31 proposed by children and three by an agency-appointed naming committee.
The agency will send out certificates recognizing the classes that submitted the selected names.
Students from seven elementary schools in Niigata Prefecture submitted the name Shin Shin, and students from four of the prefecture’s elementary schools proposed Ai Ai.
The agency is in ongoing talks with China — where most of the remaining crested ibises live — on how to continue to revive the species in Japan.