Zoo shortlists four names for baby panda pandanameA panel member checks off names for the baby panda. PATTANAPONG HIRUNARD

Will it be Kwan Thai, Lin Bing, Ying Ying or Tai Jin? One of these names will be given to the baby panda born at Chiang Mai Zoo last month, and it will be decided by the public.

The four names were shortlisted from about 300 proposed in a naming contest that involved more than 560,000 postcards.

Members of the public can vote for their favourite name at any post office until Aug 5. The result will be announced on Aug 12.

A special postcard containing the four names will go on sale in Bangkok from Friday and in other provinces from next Monday. People can tick one of the four names and send the postcard.

Kwan Thai is a Thai expression meaning "a darling of the Thai people".

Lin Bing is Chinese for "a forest of ice". The word bing is very similar in Chinese pronunciation to "ping", the name of Chiang Mai's major river.

Tai Jin means "Thai gold". It can also refer to the Thai-Chinese relationship as jin is the Thai way of saying "China".

Ying Ying is Chinese for "prosperity", while in Thai ying means a girl.

The 18-day-old baby panda is healthy with its weight jumping from 180 to 810 grammes, according to Chiang Mai Zoo veterinarians.

Meanwhile Zoological Park Organisation director-general Sophon Damnui has asked zoo visitors to avoid having close contact with dogs and cats before they go to the zoo as they could spread viruses to the animals during the flu season.

Dogs and cats are regarded as flu carriers and authorities fear viruses being passed on. People should also wear face masks while visiting the zoo.

shortlist – to put someone on a list that has been reduced from an original list คัดเลือกมาจาก (ชื่อหรือรายการทั้งหมด)
propose – to suggest something, in this case, a name ที่เสนอ
favourite – the one you like the best ที่ชื่นชอบ ที่โปรดปราน
prosperity – the situation of being successful and having a lot of money ความมั่งคั่ง
veterinarian – a doctor for animals สัตว์แพทย์
contact – a situation in which people, animals or things touch each other ติดต่อ สัมผัส
spread – to gradually affect or cover a larger area แพร่หลาย, แพร่กระจาย
authorities – people in official organisations with legal power to make people obey laws or rules เจ้าหน้าที่ผู้มีอำนาจ


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