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'Cuter in real life': South Korea names its twin panda 'treasures'

YONGIN: South Korea got its first up-close look at its new pair of baby giant pandas on Thursday (Oct 12) at a name-revealing ceremony that doubled as an early celebration of the 100 days since their birth.

The female cubs – named Rui Bao, or “wise treasure”, and Hui Bao, “shining treasure” – were born at the Everland theme park near the capital Seoul on Jul 7, and have since been showered with an outpouring of excitement and affection.

About half a million panda lovers helped choose their names via online voting, the zoo said, with a handful of lucky fans invited to Thursday’s ceremony.

Lee Da-young, a 20-year-old university student in attendance, said it was her third visit to the zoo in two months to see the pandas.

“I’ve always liked pandas, so I came to Everland last week and also a month ago,” Lee told AFP. “But I’m honoured to have come again on such a great opportunity.

“They are even cuter in real life than they appear on screen,” she said.

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