Dutch baby panda is named after Van Gogh, with a nod to Starry Night

A still from the promotional video
A webcam still from the promotional video

The baby giant panda born in the Ouwehands zoo in Rhene in May has been named  Fan Xing, which refers to Van Gogh and his painting Starry Night, zoo officials said on Friday.

Fan comes from Fan Gao which means Van Gogh in Chinese while Xing, which means star, and symbolises hope, is also a reference to the panda’s father Xing Ya. The name is gender neutral because no-one yet knows the baby’s sex.

In total, 22,000 people from all over the world helped chose the name from a shortlist of five, all of which had a link to the Netherlands. The baby panda and mother Wu Wen are currently remaining in their nest, but officials expect the baby will first be on view to the public in October.

Fan Xing will stay in the Netherlands for a maximum of four years.  Wu Wen and Xing Ya, who arrived in the Netherlands in May 2017, will return to China in 2032.

Fans can also follow the baby panda via webcam, at a cost of €1 per hour. The money raised goes to help pandas in the wild, the zoo authorities said.

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