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Foreign ministry spokeswoman opts for Masha as name for Moscow Zoo’s baby panda

Online voting on the name for the baby panda has kicked off in Moscow

MOSCOW, December 4. /TASS/. Russian Foreign Ministry Spokeswoman Maria Zakharova has called on Moscow’s residents to make their contribution to the development of Russian-Chinese friendship and take in the voting to choose a name for the Moscow Zoo’s baby panda.

"Each Muscovite has an opportunity to make his or her contribution to the development of Russian-Chinese relations and choose a name to the baby panda who was born in the Moscow Zoo. As you know, the parents of the yet nameless cub - Ru Yi and Ding Ding - are in Moscow under a loan agreement. Their offspring is to return to China too. But what her name will be will depend on Muscovites’ choice," she wrote on her Telegram channel.

As for her choice, she noted that it is Masha. "Once there are bears, there should be a Masha," she added, obviously referring to the Russian folk tale Masha and The Bear.

Online voting on the name for the baby panda has kicked off in Moscow. More than 100,000 people took part in the past day. The options include Masha and Katyusha (popular Russian names in China), Xiao Mo (Little Mo, with Mo being the first hieroglyph of the word Mo Si Ke - Moscow ), Jing Ding (Golden-Domed, an adjective often used to refer to Moscow), Bai Hua (White Birch), and others. Traditionally, the Chinese give named to pandas 100 days after the birth.

Russia’s first baby panda was born in late August to a family of two giant pandas living in the Moscow Zoo. The cub turned three months in November. She has already started to develop her baby teeth and is learning to crawl. She weighs six kilograms and measures more than 60 centimeters from the nose tip to the base of the tail.