Mei Lan (simplified Chinese: 美兰; traditional Chinese: 美蘭; intended meaning: "Atlanta Beauty"), is a male giant panda. He was born at Zoo Atlanta in Atlanta, Georgia on September 6, 2006, after a record-setting 35-hour labor. Originally identified by zoo staffers as female, Mei Lan was determined to be male by staff in China at the Chengdu Research Base of Panda Breeding. He is the first offspring of Lun Lun and Yang Yang, who are also the parents of Xi Lan, Po, and twins Mei Lun and Mei Huan. Mei Lan was relocated to Chengdu, China on February 4, 2010.
Mei Lan was named at a naming ceremony held on December 15, 2006, following the Chinese tradition of naming panda cubs when they are about 100 days old. He received person of the year from Atlanta's The Sunday Paper on December 24, 2006. In so doing, he defeated Atlanta humans Michael Vick, Cynthia McKinney, Dallas Austin, Sonny Perdue, and Bernard Marcus.
Mei Lan, which may also transliterate as "American Orchid" or "Beautiful Orchid", was submitted by WSB-TV, the Atlanta ABC affiliate. The name was chosen from a public online poll on ajc.com after it won 22% of the votes.
|Xiao Tao, 小桃||shao-tao||“little peach”||Panda Express
|Mei Tao, 美桃||may-tao||“beautiful peach”||WGCL-TV. CBS
|Mei Li, 美丽/美麗||may-lee||“beautiful”||WAGA-TV. Fox
|Ming Xing, 明星||ming-shing||“bright star”||WXIA-TV. NBC
|Ping Bao, 平宝||ping-bao||“peacefulness & precious treasure”||AJC
|Cheng Ya, 成娅/成婭||chung-ya||“pretty Atlanta girl from Chengdu”||Zoo Staff
|Ming Yue, 明月||ming-yuu||“bright moon”||Zoo Staff
|Chang Jiang, 长江/長江||chung-jung||“Yangtze River”||Chinese
|Tai Ji,太极||tai-ji||“Tai Chi” (philosophical foundation of Taoism)||Chinese|
Mei Lan, like other zoo-born giant pandas in the U.S., contractually belongs to China. He left for China on February 4, 2010, on the same flight as Tai Shan from the National Zoo in Washington D.C.. His new home is at the Chengdu Panda Base, where both his parents were born.
- Fanning, Karen. "Special Delivery: Atlanta zoo welcomes panda cub". Scholastic News.
- Ruggieri, Melissa. "It's a hairy tale: Mei Lan is a fella". ajc.com.
- Alexander, Sheridan. "Mei Lan - Giant Panda Cub at the Atlanta Zoo". About.com.
- "Zoo Atlanta’s Mei Lan Prepares to Leave for China Departure". Zoo Atlanta. Jan 28, 2010.
- "And She's Off!". Zoo Atlanta. Feb 4, 2010.
- "American Panda Gets Chinese Lesson". cbsnew.com. Feb 3, 2010.