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Say My Name: Baby Giant Panda Is Named ... Bei Bei

The baby giant panda at the Smithsonian National Zoo in Washington, D.C., was given a name.

The little guy had some VIP help. The name was chosen by first lady Michelle Obama and China's first lady, Madame Peng Liyuan.

Here's the pool report from the ceremony:

"The panda born on August 22 here to Mei Xiang has a name! It's Bei Bei. It was chosen by FLOTUS and Ms. Peng and they revealed it in English and Chinese by unrolling scrolls tied by ribbons with help of two school kids."

It's pronounced "Bay-Bay."

There's no word, yet, on how Beyoncé feels about all this.

Either way, here are some gratuitous images of the little critter:

Copyright 2021 NPR. To see more, visit https://www.npr.org.

Corrected: September 27, 2015 at 11:00 PM CDT
An earlier version of this post said Bei Bei had been named after turning 100 days old as tradition dictates. In fact, the National Zoo broke with tradition, saying that "scientists and keepers at giant panda breeding and research centers in China do not wait 100 days to name cubs born at those facilities."
Eyder Peralta is NPR's East Africa correspondent based in Nairobi, Kenya.
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