Belgium's first baby panda named 'Treasure of Heaven'

2016-09-16 08:25


Multimedia   ·   User Galleries   ·   News in Pictures Send us your pictures  ·  Send us your stories

Brussels - A Belgian zoo on Thursday finally named a baby giant panda three months after its birth, calling it "Tian Bao", which means "Treasure of Heaven" in Chinese.

The name was chosen by the panda's keepers at Pairi Daiza wildlife park outside Brussels after an online survey in which Tian Bao received the most public votes.

The cub's mother, Hao Hao, and her mate Xing Hui were loaned to Belgium from China for 15 years in February 2014 to mark Chinese President Xi Jinping's state visit to the kingdom.

There are about 1 800 freely roaming pandas left in the world, with about 400 in captivity, mainly in southwest China. The species has a notoriously low birthrate.

The name Tian Bao received 40% of the vote in the online survey, beating Xing Hao ("Good Star"), Ou Xing ("Star of Europe"), Hua Li ("China and Belgium") and An Tuan ("United Peace").

Previously, the baby panda was just referred to as "Baby P".

Chinese ambassador to Belgium Qu Xing and Belgian Environment Minister Marie-Christine Marghem both attended the official naming ceremony, which falls on the same day as the Chinese mid-autumn festival.

A plaque was unveiled bearing the cub's new name in both Chinese and Latin characters - while the animal was also named an honorary citizen of the town of Brugelette, where the zoo is located.

The panda cub was born on June 2 to much fanfare, after Hao Hao was artificially inseminated twice in February with the sperm of Xing Hui.

The International Union for Conservation of Nature on September 4 upgraded the giant panda's status from "endangered" to "vulnerable", following decades of conservation work in China.

Read more on:    belgium  |  animals

Join the conversation! encourages commentary submitted via MyNews24. Contributions of 200 words or more will be considered for publication.

We reserve editorial discretion to decide what will be published.
Read our comments policy for guidelines on contributions.

Inside News24

Traffic Alerts
There are new stories on the homepage. Click here to see them.


Create Profile

Creating your profile will enable you to submit photos and stories to get published on News24.

Please provide a username for your profile page:

This username must be unique, cannot be edited and will be used in the URL to your profile page across the entire network.


Location Settings

News24 allows you to edit the display of certain components based on a location. If you wish to personalise the page based on your preferences, please select a location for each component and click "Submit" in order for the changes to take affect.

Facebook Sign-In

Hi News addict,

Join the News24 Community to be involved in breaking the news.

Log in with Facebook to comment and personalise news, weather and listings.