SINGAPORE — Meet Le Le (叻叻), the first ever panda cub born in Singapore, whose name was the overwhelming favourite chosen in a public poll, said Mandai Wildlife Reserve on its website on Wednesday (29 December).
The cub was born on 14 August at River Safari to Kai Kai and Jia Jia, the two giant pandas who arrived in 2012 on a 10-year loan from China.
The winning name “Le Le” garnered more than 31,000 votes out of the over 64,000 votes sent in by the public.
“The character ‘Le (叻)’ comes from ‘Shi Le Po’ (石叻坡), which was the ancient Chinese name for Singapore. This was in use since the island’s beginning as a trading port. Shi Le Po is a transliteration of the Malay term ‘selat’ which means straits, indicative of Singapore’s geographical location,” the website said.
The cub’s name was jointly unveiled at a meeting held earlier Wednesday by Singapore’s Deputy Prime Minister Heng Swee Keat and China’s Vice Premier Han Zheng.
Starting Thursday, visitors to River Wonders can see Le Le in his new glass-fronted nursery at the Giant Panda Forest. Viewing times are scheduled at around 10.30am and 3.30pm daily as they reflect Jia Jia’s feeding and exercise sessions when she is comfortable to leave little Le Le on his own, the website said.
“Each ‘viewing window’, which ranges between 20-30 minutes, may vary depending on the comfort level of both mother and son, and will be reviewed and adjusted over the next few weeks.”
Le Le now weighs more than 9kg and is starting to nibble on bamboo shoots and leaves.