Record 322,581 suggestions received for naming Ueno Zoo’s panda cub

JIJI

The Tokyo Metropolitan Government said Thursday it has received a record 322,581 suggestions from the public for the name of the female giant panda cub that was born at Ueno Zoo in the capital in June.

The previous record high for proposals for the name of a Japan-born panda was some 273,000 entries, for a cub born in 1986 that was named Tong Tong.

The metro government will announce the name in late September, when the baby panda will turn 100 days old, following the selection process including a screening by a relevant committee.

Members of the committee will include actress Tetsuko Kuroyanagi, who serves as honorary chair of the Panda Protection Institute of Japan, and music critic Reiko Yukawa.

The name ideas were invited between July 28 and Aug. 10. In addition to conventional methods such as mail, online applications were accepted for the first time. The cub was born on June 12 to female panda Shin Shin, now 12 years old, and her male partner Ri Ri, also 12.