A 2-year-old Thai girl has won the competition to name the giant panda cub born at Chiang Mai zoo in May. The birth of the baby panda created much excitement all over Thailand and regular updates of the cub’s progress have appeared in the Thai and international media. A nationwide competition was held giving people the chance to vote for a name from a short-list of choices. Over 20 million votes were cast and 60% voted for the name Lin Ping. The name in Chinese means ‘forest of ice’ but also appealed to voters because it combines the name of the cub’s mother, Lin Hui, with the name of the river that runs through Chiang Mai, the Ping River.
Plaifa Sihakhom, a 2-year-old girl from Sakon Nakhon in north-east Thailand, was the lucky winner of the top prize in the competition and has won 1 million Baht in cash and a car. More importantly from a 2-year-old’s perspective, she has also been given a VIP tour of Chiang Mai zoo and been able to visit the baby panda in person. Part of the prize also means she will get to visit a giant panda centre in China.
Lin Ping has already been given her own page on social networking site, Hi5 and it looks like it will only be a matter of time before the celebrity giant panda cub is also on Facebook and Twitter.
photo from Chiang Mai zoo