50 years of ‘adorable antics’: Nationwide Zoo celebrates big pandas

Wednesday is National Panda Day, and the Smithsonian’s Nationwide Zoo, in D.C., is kicking off a six-month celebration to commemorate 50 a long time of caring and hosting big pandas.

Wednesday is Countrywide Panda Day, and the Smithsonian’s National Zoo in D.C. is kicking off its 6-thirty day period celebration to commemorate 50 yrs of caring and internet hosting giant pandas.

Through Aug. 27, the zoo will keep a series of activities online and on-web-site to celebrate the 50th anniversary of the large panda plan.

Giant panda mother Mei Xiang, still left, and son Xiao Qi Ji, right, at the Smithsonian’s Nationwide Zoo and Conservation Biology Institute. (Courtesy Smithsonian Nationwide Zoo/Skip Brown)

These incorporate a Big Panda Spouse and children Tree Image Gallery on Wednesday the premiere of the Smithsonian Channel’s documentary “The Wonder Club” and Pandaversary on April 16 and 17 and other pursuits, specifics of which can be uncovered in complete on the zoo’s internet site.

“After 50 years, large pandas keep on being an iconic species for our zoo,” Brandie Smith, the John and Adrienne Mars Director of the zoo and Conservation Biology Institute, mentioned in a assertion. “More importantly, they depict how good conservation outcomes can be reached by means of good partnerships with our Chinese colleagues.”

Working alongside one another for 5 many years, U.S. and Chinese conservationists made contributions to the global know-how of huge panda biology, conduct, replica, health and fitness and habitat, and conserving the species from extinction, the zoo said in a information release. Giant pandas are mentioned as “vulnerable” in the wild by the Intercontinental Union for Conservation of Mother nature. There are an believed 1,800 big pandas residing in the wild.

“Fifty several years ago, pandas were not flourishing in China,” Pamela Baker-Masson, a spokeswoman for the Nationwide Zoo, instructed WTOP. “Together with our colleagues, we’ve mastered some of the significant factors that have introduced them back from the brink of extinction, like biology and copy, and we have an understanding of their habitats so a lot much better.”

The celebration extends in the bordering regions, with organizations in Cleveland and Woodley Park featuring “Panda Specials” that variety from panda-themed treats to discounts on items and food items by means of May well 15, the zoo mentioned. Look for Giant Panda 50th Anniversary decals to come across collaborating shops.

The zoo has renewed its giant panda research and breeding agreement with the China Wildlife Conservation Association three moments because 2000. The latest offer, which was extended in 2020, permits the pandas to continue on dwelling in the Countrywide Zoo. In exchange, the Smithsonian presents funding and skills toward conservation in China.

“When people today, no matter your nationality, seem at giant pandas, what they care about is this incredibly charismatic animal. They care about the animal they treatment about its surroundings they treatment about all the other animals that dwell in that ecosystem as well,” Baker-Masson reported.

“I consider it’s outstanding that our experts listed here in the United States and in China, globally, have worked together, politics apart, and actually attempt to do anything that was considerable and essential for our planet.”

The zoo’s latest pandas involve Tian Tian, male, 24 Mei Xiang, female, 23 and their 18-thirty day period outdated male cub, Xiao Qi Ji. The 1st pandas arrived at the zoo in 1972, adhering to President Richard Nixon’s state pay a visit to to China they were being presented by Chinese Premier Zhou Enlai to the American people today as a gesture of excellent will.

Big pandas Ling-Ling and Hsing-Hsing at the Smithsonian’s Countrywide Zoo and Conservation Biology Institute (Courtesy Smithsonian’s Nationwide Zoo)