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Latest Panda News | Smithsonian's National Zoo
Nov. 25, 2022
#PandaStory: Xiao Qi Ji Reaches A Big Milestone
Last month, giant panda cub Xiao Qi Ji hit a big milestone—he successfully participated in an awake blood draw! Get the latest #PandaStory update from assistant curator Laurie Thompson.
Sep. 09, 2022
Three Bearthdays: A Panda Family Fête
Who’s black, white and ready to paw-ty? As part of the Pandaversary celebration, Asia Trail keepers threw a bearthday fête fit for our beloved giant panda family.
Aug. 21, 2022
Giant Panda Xiao Qi Ji Celebrates Second Birthday at Smithsonian's National Zoo and Conservation Biology Institute
This morning, the Smithsonian’s National Zoo and Conservation Biology Institute celebrated giant panda cub Xiao Qi Ji’s second birthday.
Aug. 16, 2022
Media Advisory: Giant Panda Xiao Qi Ji’s Second Birthday Celebration Aug. 21
The Zoo’s giant panda cub, Xiao Qi Ji, will celebrate his second birthday Aug. 21 with a specially tailored fruitsicle cake.
Apr. 26, 2022
No Panda Party is Complete Without a Cake
In April, the commissary team was busy creating colorful ice cakes for giant pandas Mei Xiang, Tian Tian and Xiao Qi Ji in celebration of the 50th anniversary of giant pandas at the Zoo.
Apr. 16, 2022
Giant Pandas Celebrate 50th Anniversary of the Giant Panda Program At Smithsonian’s National Zoo and Conservation Biology Institute
To commemorate 50 years of unprecedented achievement in the care, conservation, breeding and study of giant pandas, the Smithsonian's National Zoo’s in-residence giant panda family—Tian Tian, Mei Xian... read more
Apr. 11, 2022
Media Advisory: Giant Panda 50th Anniversary Celebration April 16 and 17
Presentation of panda-friendly fruitsicle cakes to giant panda cub Xiao Qi Ji, his mother Mei Xiang and father Tian Tian.
Apr. 01, 2022
A Decade of Adorable Giant Panda Cam Moments
To celebrate 50 years of giant panda care, collaboration and conservation, we’ve curated a collection of cute Giant Panda Cam moments from the past decade that connected viewers with nature, sparked p. .. read more
Mar. 31, 2022
#PandaStory: Growing Up
On April 16, the giant panda team will celebrate an enormous milestone—the 50th anniversary of our giant panda program! For giant panda cub Xiao Qi Ji, another important milestone is approaching: wean... read more
Mar. 16, 2022
Celebrating 50 Years of Giant Pandas at the Smithsonian’s National Zoo and Conservation Biology Institute
The Smithsonian’s National Zoo and Conservation Biology Institute will celebrate 50 years of unprecedented achievement in the care, conservation, breeding and study of giant pandas April 16. Today is... read more
Mar. 15, 2022
50 Panda Facts to Celebrate 50 Years of Giant Pandas at the Smithsonian's National Zoo
Enjoy these 50 facts about giant pandas in honor of the Smithsonian's National Zoo's Giant Panda 50th Anniversary Celebration.
Feb. 25, 2022
#PandaStory: Tickles and Treasure Hunting With Xiao Qi Ji
Earlier this week, giant panda cub Xiao Qi Ji went treasure hunting in a tree for some fun puzzle feeder enrichment! Get the latest #PandaStory update from assistant curator Laurie Thompson.
Jan. 28, 2022
#PandaStory: Xiao Qi Ji Belly Slides in the Snow
Snowfall fun and sugar cane snacks made January an eventful month for giant panda cub Xiao Qi Ji! Get the latest #PandaStory update from assistant curator Laurie Thompson.
Jan. 07, 2022
Watch Panda Xiao Qi Ji’s Best Moments of 2021
How do you measure a year of giant panda cub cuteness? Giant panda Xiao Qi Ji — the Smithsonian’s National Zoo’s “little miracle” — gives all who follow his #PandaStory a reason to smile. Look back at... read more
Dec. 21, 2021
#PandaStory: Pool Playtime For Xiao Qi Ji
On Dec. 17, Xiao Qi Ji took his first “panda paddle” in the pool! Get the latest #PandaStory update from assistant curator Laurie Thompson.
Dec. 20, 2021
Watch: 10 Animal Videos That Topped Our List in 2021
We rounded up the animal antics and species conservation stories that made us laugh, smile and cheer in 2021. Take a look back at some of our favorite moments caught on video.
Nov. 29, 2021
#PandaStory: Winter Comes Early For Xiao Qi Ji
Winter came a little early for giant pandas Tian Tian, Mei Xiang and Xiao Qi Ji. Our Department of Nutrition Science team provided all three pandas with a pallet of ice to play in!
Oct. 29, 2021
#PandaStory: A Bubble Bath Wrestling Match
It seems that giant panda cub Xiao Qi Ji inherited his mother Mei Xiang’s fondness for the scent of bubble bath. On an autumn day, keepers presented the pair with some suds to play in, and they went w... read more
Sep. 24, 2021
#PandaStory: A Splashing Good Time
Giant panda cub Xiao Qi Ji may have found a new favorite pastime. While keepers were cleaning the outdoor patio Sept. 16, our curious cub jumped in the hose spray and had a splashing good time!
Aug. 27, 2021
#PandaStory: Two Birthdays Are Twice As Nice
Last Saturday, Aug. 21, was a big day for our “little miracle.” Giant panda cub Xiao Qi Ji celebrated his first birthday and shared not one but two delicious fruitsicle cakes with his mother, Mei Xian. ..
Aug. 21, 2021
Giant Panda Xiao Qi Ji Celebrated First Birthday At Smithsonian’s National Zoo
This morning, the Smithsonian’s National Zoo and Conservation Biology Institute celebrated giant panda cub Xiao Qi Ji’s (SHIAU-chi-ji) first birthday with a specially tailored fruitsicle cake.
Aug. 06, 2021
Happy First Birthday, Xiao Qi Ji!
One year ago, the Smithsonian’s National Zoo welcomed Xiao Qi Ji—a precious giant panda born in the midst of a global pandemic. As the giant panda team prepares to celebrate his first birthday Aug. 21... read more
Aug. 06, 2021
How to Care for Giant Pandas
Celebrate giant panda cub Xiao Qi Ji’s birthday—and Zoo Guardians’ first anniversary—with giant panda keeper and real-life Zoo Guardian, Nicole MacCorkle!
Jul. 30, 2021
#PandaStory: A Panda With A Personality That Shines
If there was a competition to see who could balance a ball on their paws in the most adorable manner, giant panda cub Xiao Qi Ji would receive a perfect score!
Jun. 25, 2021
#PandaStory: A Quick Learner
When it comes to husbandry training, giant panda cub Xiao Qi Ji is a quick learner (and a very good boy)!
Giant Panda Cub FAQs | Smithsonian's National Zoo
Have questions about panda cubs? Check out some of the most commonly asked questions to learn more about the early stages of a giant panda's life.
External genitalia in bears doesn't develop until the bear is several months old. The best, and most reliable, way to determine a bear cub's sex is through DNA analysis. Scientists from the Smithsonian Conservation Biology Institute's Center for Conservation Genomics obtain the DNA from a gentle cheek swab during a veterinary exam.
Any baby born to Mei Xiang and Tian Tian belongs to China, and the Zoo will send the offspring to China at about age 4, so it can become part of the breeding population there.
In December 2009, the Zoo announced that Tai Shan would be sent to China in early 2010, per the Zoo's agreement with the China Wildlife Conservation Association. He left the Zoo for China on Feb. 4, 2010. Mei Xiang's second surviving cub, Bao Bao, departed for China Feb. 21, 2017, and her third surviving cub, Bei Bei, departed for China Nov. 19, 2019.
Bears in the wild, including giant pandas, give birth in small dens. In China's Wolong Reserve, pandas make their dens in large hollow conifer trees, with a diameter of about 3 feet. Where there aren't any trees, pandas den in caves with a little bedding of twigs. They stay in these dens for about the cub's first 100 days.
Zoo keepers strive to recreate these surroundings for Mei Xiang. She always has access to her larger enclosures, though for the first few months of a cub's life she will spend the vast majority of her time in the den. She will occasionally venture out to eat, drink, urinate and defecate. Those trips will become increasingly longer as a cub grows.
In January of 2013, in anticipation of the breeding season, keepers rearranged Mei Xiang's den, including shifting the angle of the bars, so that keepers would have more direct access to Mei Xiang and her cub while they are resting in the nest area. The old bars were recycled, making the renovations not only a little greener, but also a little less overwhelming for Mei Xiang. It was as if the "furniture" was simply rearranged one day.
It is usually dark in Mei Xiang's den, as it would be in a wild bear's den, but the cams have infrared and low-light capabilities, which allow her and the cub to be visible to cam viewers. This is also why the cam usually looks black and white. When the keepers turn on the lights, the cam shows up in color, except for the bears, of course, who are always black and white.
When bears give birth in the wild, the mothers spend several months denned up with their cubs. Their focus during this time is nurturing and protecting their cubs, rather than eating. Scientists have observed giant panda mothers in the wild go as long as one month without eating or drinking. Like other bears, pandas seem to go through a metabolic shift during the summer months, when their food intake drops up to 75 percent. This coincides with when pandas den and produce cubs, like other bear species. One difference to note is that other bears fast for several months during hibernation.
The cams are turned off periodically when keepers enter the den to assess the cub and Mei Xiang.
Newborn giant panda cubs are born very tiny and delicate. When Mei Xiang licks the cub, she is stimulating him to urinate and defecate. Cubs are unable to urinate and defecate on their own in the first weeks of life.
Tian Tian (tee-YEN tee-YEN) is the cub’s sire, or father. Reproductive scientists from the Smithsonian Conservation Biology Institute performed an artificial insemination on Mei Xiang March 22, 2020, with frozen semen collected from Tian Tian in 2015. Mei Xiang gave birth to a cub Aug. 21, 2020, at 6:35 p.m. This is the first time a Zoo in the United States has experienced a successful giant panda pregnancy and birth via artificial insemination using only frozen semen.
Mei Xiang keeps her cub tucked under her arm, or under her chin much of the time. Panda cubs are unable to regulate their own body temperature, so Mei Xiang cradles the cub closely to her body to keep him or her warm. She moves the cub by picking it up in her mouth.
The cub squeals when it wants to nurse or be repositioned. Regular loud squeals are signs of a healthy cub.
Sometimes it appears as though Mei Xiang is breathing heavily. She is breathing on her cub to keep the cub in a warm and humid environment.
Male pandas are not involved in the care of their cubs. Fathers and cubs may never encounter each other in the wild.
No, in the wild giant pandas are solitary and separate from their mothers around the age of 18 months. Keepers strive to mimic those conditions at the Zoo.
The panda team prepares for a panda cub birth based on behaviors they see, hormones they monitor and ultrasounds. Smithsonian Conservation Biology Institute scientists look for a rise in Mei Xiang's urinary progesterone. A rise indicates that she would give birth to a cub or experience the end of a pseudopregnancy in 30-50 days. The panda team then begins monitoring Mei Xiang 24 hours a day and attempts ultrasounds.
When the panda team conducts a health check they have a list of things to accomplish. They will measure the cub's body weight, assess hydration, take a body measurement, check the oral cavity, check the umbilicus, check the genitalia and rectal area, palpate the abdominal cavity, take a fecal culture, take the rectal temperature, listen for a heartbeat and lung sounds, and collect any urine produced.
Mei Xiang's den was rearranged in 2015 to allow the panda team to get closer to her and a cub for health checks, or to retrieve the cub. There is a barrier in the den, which keeps members of the panda team safe when they enter the den with Mei Xiang and a cub. Mei Xiang and the keepers are never on the same side of the barrier.
When the panda team removes a cub from the den for a health check, a minimum of two keepers are always present. No more than three keepers enter the den at the same time. One keeper focuses on retrieving the cub, and another keeper monitors Mei Xiang. Keepers offer Mei Xiang bamboo, juice, sugarcane or honey water while they retrieve the cub during the first weeks of his life. When Mei Xiang begins leaving the cub more frequently for longer periods of time, keepers can retrieve the cub from the den while Mei Xiang is eating in the adjacent enclosure.
They will pick the cub up with a gloved hand.
Yes, Mei Xiang gave birth to two cubs Aug. 22, 2015. The first was born at 5:35 p.m. and the second was born at 10:07 p.m. The panda team immediately implemented the Zoo's Giant Panda Twin Hand-Rearing Protocol after they observed Mei Xiang having difficulty caring for both cubs. Developed from the experience and success of Chinese partners and other zoos, the hand-rearing protocol provided the panda team with several strategies to manage twin cubs. Swapping the cubs between mother and hand-rearing is a proven method that enables Zoo staff to best care for twins in the event that the mother cannot manage two cubs, which was the case with Mei Xiang.
When swapping the cubs became difficult, the panda team had in their possession the smaller cub, which was losing weight, needed calories and energy, and was at risk if he remained away from Mei Xiang for a prolonged period of time. The cub's best option for survival was to receive supplemental feedings via bottle and tube, but both techniques present risks. The team witnessed some regurgitation of food during one feeding, so the cub was started on antibiotics as a preventative measure.
The smaller cub was with Mei Xiang from about 2 p.m., Aug. 25, until the morning of Aug. 26. When the panda team swapped the cubs, they assessed the cub and had concerns, because he had not increased in weight, appeared weaker and exhibited possible respiratory issues. He died shortly after 2 p.m. Based on the necropsy's gross findings, Zoo pathologists and veterinarians determined the most likely cause of death to be complications associated with aspiration of food material into the cub's respiratory system resulting in the development of pneumonia.
The cub was male, fraternal twin to the larger cub, and sired by Tian Tian.
No. Mei Xiang cared for whichever cub was in the den with her. But female giant pandas struggle to care for more than one cub at once. That is why the panda team was swapping cubs, so Mei Xiang could take care of one at a time.
Several people who watch the panda cam have mentioned seeing a mouse that occasionally runs through Mei Xiang's den. The Giant Panda building is a secure, dry area protected from the elements, so it is inherently attractive to all sorts of opportunistic rodents. The food that the giant pandas eat also attracts mice.
The Zoo has a team of pest management specialists who work with keepers to reduce and control the visiting rodent population throughout the Zoo. And although keepers diligently work to exclude them, rodents are amazingly smart animals (something you can learn more about at the Zoo's Think Tank exhibit). The pest management team has even observed rodents outsmarting traps by flinging them against walls, and then making off with the bait. In addition, the Zop refuses to use pesticides in its panda exhibit, which makes the challenge of controlling the rodent population a little more difficult.
Of course, much as the Zoo's team admires rodents' cognitive abilities, they would still prefer them not to be in with the animals. Fortunately, Mei Xiang is a 200-pound bear with strong instincts to protect her cub. No mouse --however clever or cunning-- poses a serious threat to her or her cub.
Follow the Zoo and Conservation Biology Institute on Facebook (@NationalZoo), Twitter (@NationalZoo) and Instagram (@SmithsonianZoo) using #PandaStory and through the Giant Panda Bulletin e-newsletter.
Support the Zoo's giant panda conservation efforts at the Zoo and in China by giving to the Giant Panda Conservation Fund. Donate now.
Little Panda Farmon the App Store
Little Panda's Farm game is available! You can cook gourmet meals, breed animals, grow fruits and vegetables and enjoy nature. What are you waiting for? Enjoy the farm life!
GROWING FRUITS AND VEGETABLES
Many types of fruits and vegetables can be grown on the farm: apples, oranges, corn, tomatoes and more. Plant the seeds in the ground, provide them with enough sunlight and water. Do not forget to fertilize them in time and repel insects.
Farm animals need care and attention. Feed the cows hay, bathe the sheep and clean the chicken coop so that the animals grow up healthy. Now you can go to the bee hives and fish ponds to take care of the other inhabitants of the farm.
PROCESSING AND SALES
Various products are produced on the farm, such as milk or eggs. In addition, you can use combinations of products and cook burgers, pizza, cakes from them, and you can also knit scarves, sweaters and other products from animal hair. You can earn a lot of coins by selling these items.
You can earn a lot of money on the farm. Wonderful! Hurry up to buy your favorite decorations to build your own farm!
- Enjoy life on the farm as a farmer
- Adorable farm animals: cows, sheep, chickens, bees and fish
- Grow fruits and vegetables: apples, pitahayas, oranges, wheat, corn and more
- Collect and process almost 40 farm products
- Thanks to the processing formula, you can easily prepare delicious food
- Sell farm products Learn how to manage the farm and money
- Buy decorations to build your own farm
Ratings and reviews
Kicks out of the game
At the moment when the child starts washing the lambs, we ask you to fix the problem. The game is very colorful and interesting, so please fix it in order to enjoy the study of animals
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Moscow Zoo to show how to feed red pandas for the first time / News / Moscow City Web Site
Parks and pedestrian areas
During the New Year holidays, the Moscow Zoo will show what pandas, rays and bamboo sharks have for dinner, and will also hold lectures about animals - the symbols of the year.
At the Moscow Zoo, visitors can watch the feeding of red pandas, bamboo sharks and rays. Spectacular shows with the participation of keepers (employees who take care of animals. - note mos.ru ) will begin on January 3 and will last until the end of the New Year holidays. Zoo guests will have the opportunity to see them up close and hear stories about them.
According to the press service of the Moscow Zoo, two red pandas - a female named Zane and a male named Ryzhik - live in the "Cats of the Tropics" pavilion, which is located on the old, historical territory. Red pandas love to eat fruits and vegetables. They have been living in the zoo for the last three years, but never before have they been shown to guests during a treat. After each feeding, keepers will weigh the pandas, and visitors will also be able to watch this procedure.
“Bamboo sharks and rays eat seafood - mussels, shrimp, squid. When they see a treat, they become more mobile, and it’s more interesting to watch them, ”the press service of the Moscow Zoo said.
Feeding sharks and rays will take place in the new territory in the Animal Island pavilion in the Exotarium. Visitors will be able to see how the zoo's pets dine on any day of the New Year holidays, except Friday and Saturday.
For the most inquisitive during the holidays, free lectures "New Year's Zoology" are organized. They will be held next to the enclosures of animals that have ever become symbols of the year according to the eastern calendar. Everyone will learn interesting facts about tigers, snakes, monkeys, and why the elephant did not become the symbol of the year.
Schedule of lectures:
- January 3, 11:30-12:30 - pavilion "Cats of the Tropics";
— January 3, 13:30–14:30 — Monkey Pavilion;
— January 5, 11:30–12:30 — Elephants pavilion;
— January 5, 13:30–14:30 — Cats of the Tropics pavilion;
— January 7, 11:30–12:30 — Monkey Pavilion;
— January 7, 13:30–14:30 — Elephants pavilion.
From January 4 to 8, young and adult visitors to the zoo will be able to attend a fairy-tale performance with the participation of Father Frost, the Snow Maiden and all the animals of the Eastern calendar.