‘Trúc’ comes from Chinese 竹 ‘bamboo’
- Mandarin: zhú
- Cantonese: jūk
- Literary Hokkien: tiok
Also, Wiktionary mentions that gấu can also mean ‘date, love interest’...
Isn't "gấu trúc" referring to pandas in general, and if we want to talk about "the pandas" specifically, as in the pandas in front of you at the zoo, one would say "những con gấu trúc"?