Nineteen-month-old female panda cub Yi Yi holds a sign with her name during her naming ceremony at Malaysia?s National Zoo in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia, August 1, 2019. (Photo/Agencies)
The second giant panda born in Malaysia was named Yi Yi, meaning friendship, on Thursday, marking the close friendship between Malaysia and China.
Speaking at a ceremony at the giant panda conservation center, Malaysian Land and Natural Resources Minister Xavier Jayakumar said the name was chosen to recognize the friendship between the two countries that had grown since the diplomatic ties were established 45-years ago.
"Today marks a historic moment as we will be naming the second female cub. The government of Malaysia has carefully selected and consulted the China Wildlife Conservation Association before finalizing on a deemed suitable name," said Xavier.
"It gives me pleasure to announce the name of the second female cub as Yi Yi which means friendship," he said.
Xavier added that Yi Yi had reached a weight of nearly 50 kilograms since being born. While still feeding on milk, she had been exposed to other food including bamboo leaves and carrots.
Chinese Ambassador to Malaysia Bai Tian who was also present at the ceremony, said the pandas had indeed exemplified the growing friendship between the two countries.
"So they came here as the friendship emissaries and they have produced a record of the most productive giant pandas overseas in Malaysia. That fully shows the friendship really multiplies and also shows the fact that Malaysia is really the very beautiful and very comfortable home for the Chinese giant pandas," he said.
The baby giant panda, born in January last year, is the second offspring of her parents, Xing Xing and Liang Liang, who arrived in Malaysia in 2014.
Their first-born panda, Nuan Nuan, returned to China in November last year after turning two years old.