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Taiwan panda cub in close running in int'l award poll

TAIPEI--A six-month-old panda cub at Taipei Zoo appears to be in the running for at least one prize in an international panda award poll that will close early Wednesday, Taiwan time.

Yuan Zai, which was nominated in two categories, was in second place for the “Panda Cub of the Year” award when the results were published at the halfway point of the online poll on Dec. 29 last year.

She would have to overtake twin cubs Mei Lun and Mei Huan of Zoo Atlanta in the United States to win that award.

In the category “ Panda Personality of 2013: 'The Bear', Yuan Zai was at the bottom of the list of five nominees at the halfway point. The Giant Panda Zoo Awards, initiated by Belgian panda enthusiast Jeroen Jacobs, is offering 10 prizes for pandas, their keepers and those who contribute to the preservation of the species.

The zoo, which received the pair of adult pandas on Taiwan's behalf four years ago from China, has been heavily promoting the online awards poll.

The results will be announced Jan. 17 on the website http://www.giantpandazoo.com/panda/

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