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Pandas get Finnish names before arrival

China Daily | Updated: 2018-01-09 09:45
The aerial photo taken on Oct 13, 2017 shows the newly built panda house at the entrance of Ahtari Zoo in central Finland. [Photo/Xinhua]

HELSINKI - A pair of giant pandas have been given local, snow-themed names ahead of their arrival in Finland in mid-January.

The male panda, Hua Bao, has been named Pyry and the female, Jin Bao Bao, will be known as Lumi, according to local media reports.

Television channel MTV organized a public vote and the two names were chosen out of more than 4,000 suggestions, the station reported late on Saturday.

Both Pyry and Lumi are common Finnish names, meaning "snowfall" and "snow" respectively.

Kari Vainio, temporary managing director of the Ahtari zoo, where the pandas will make their new home, told MTV that the two names fit well "because they are snow pandas".

"We also like their Finnish names very much," he added.

The Ahtari zoo, located in central Finland, already has good snow cover. Such a natural environment is similar to the native habitat of pandas, said Vainio.

MTV said the original Chinese names of the pandas will be preserved but the zoo wants the newcomers to have also Finnish names as they will be easier for local people to recognize.

During the visit to Finland by Chinese President Xi Jinping in April, China and Finland signed an agreement on joint research on giant pandas.

According to the document, a pair of pandas will be sent to Finland and live in Ahtari zoo for 15 years.

The panda pair is scheduled to arrive in Finland on Jan 18, said MTV. A Finnish panda nurse and a veterinarian have been dispatched to China to familiarize themselves with the pandas and to prepare them for life in their adopted country.


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