Celebrating 50 A long time of Large Pandas at the Smithsonian’s National Zoo and Conservation Biology Institute

To obtain images, b-roll and a conservation system backgrounder go to the Zoo’s newsroom.

The Smithsonian’s Nationwide Zoo and Conservation Biology Institute will celebrate 50 yrs of unparalleled achievement in the care, conservation, breeding and research of giant pandas April 16. More than the earlier five decades, the Zoo’s bears have become worldwide icons, beloved equally for their lovable antics and their potential to carry colleagues from the United States and China with each other to collaborate for a frequent aim: saving the species from extinction.

Now, March 16, is Countrywide Panda Day, a fitting get started for the Zoo’s 6-month-long celebration for its website visitors and world-wide on the net community to commemorate this momentous event and celebrate the Zoo’s in-residence huge panda family—24-12 months-aged male Tian Tian (tee-YEN tee-YEN), 23-yr-old female Mei Xiang (may possibly-SHONG) and their 18-month-previous male cub Xiao Qi Ji (SHIAU-chi-ji). The Big Panda 50th Anniversary celebration is designed achievable with the guidance of Boeing. 

“After 50 several years, large pandas stay an legendary species for our Zoo,” stated Brandie Smith, John and Adrienne Mars Director, Smithsonian’s Countrywide Zoo and Conservation Biology Institute. “More importantly, they represent how excellent conservation results can be obtained through terrific partnerships with our Chinese colleagues. Staying ready to introduce hundreds of millions of folks throughout the world to pandas and inspiring them to care about their conservation for 5 decades, coupled with our scientific breakthroughs, is a milestone truly really worth celebrating.”

“At Boeing, every thing we do ties back to our values and objective, which is ‘to guard, join and explore the environment and past,” said Cheri Carter, vice president of Boeing International Engagement. “Conservation matters to us. By supporting the Smithsonian’s longstanding huge panda application, we’re supporting the Zoo and its partners be certain a foreseeable future for this beloved bear, a real ambassador for the preservation and protection of our shared world for future generations.”

Commencing nowadays through Aug. 27, the Zoo will keep on line and on-site events in celebration of the 50th anniversary of the large panda system. Information on the situations are readily available on the Zoo’s site. They include things like, but are not confined to:

  • March 16: The Big Panda Household Tree Image Gallery invitations guests to check out the Zoo’s thriving big panda breeding system and adhere to how cubs born at the Zoo are contributing to their species’ survival in China. This gallery is positioned in the outdoor large panda show.
  • April 7: National Head Commence goes to the Smithsonian’s National Zoo for a digital field trip to fulfill the Zoo’s huge panda family members.
  • April 8: Pandaversary: 50 Many years of Conservation and Cuteness collection. The Smithsonian invites panda fans to shop on line for a collection of constrained-edition goods commemorating the Large Panda 50th Anniversary. Items showcasing all 8 pandas who have lived at the Zoo will be out there for purchase at www.NationalZooPanda.com commencing April 8 for a constrained time. Proceeds specifically assistance the Smithsonian and the Countrywide Zoo’s animal and conservation systems.
  • April 16 and 17: The planet premiere of the Smithsonian Channel’s documentary on the Zoo’s big panda application, “The Wonder Panda,” will be screened for a constrained time at the Zoo’s Visitor Centre Theater. This screening is free and open up to the general public.
  • April 16: Pandaversary. From 9 a.m. to 2 p.m., site visitors can enjoy lion dance performances, panda-formed Bao buns and calligraphy demonstrations, courtesy of the Embassy of the People’s Republic of China, discuss with the Zoo’s scientists who research huge panda biology and ecology, and see the pandas obtain distinctive enrichment treats.
  • April 17: Pandaversary: From 10 a.m. to midday, readers can delight in a overall performance by Dong Xi, a musical collaboration amongst award-winning percussionist Tom Teasley and renowned Chinese dulcimer artist Chao Tian. The Zoo’s big pandas also will acquire enrichment treats as section of the celebration.
  • April 21: Celebrating 50 Panda-mazing Many years: Devote an night with the authorities at the rear of the pandas in this panel-structure application and listen to what it can take to study, increase and treatment for huge pandas.

About the training course of the Zoo’s “pandaversary,” supporters can continue on to stay connected to its panda spouse and children through the Huge Panda Cam, sponsored by Chase.

“Zoo Guardians,” a mobile recreation created by the Smithsonian’s Nationwide Zoo and Conservation Biology Institute in partnership with JumpStart Game titles, will host an in-sport “StuPANDAous Celebration” beginning in early April. Players ages 9 and older can bring all the exciting and exhilaration of the Giant Panda 50th Anniversary to their digital zoos with restricted edition panda décor. A downloadable “Pandariffic Pack” —including a cell track record, coloring sheets and other panda-themed activities—will be out there on the Zoo’s site. Zoo Guardians is free and offered to down load in the Application Retailer and on Google Participate in.

In addition to unique choices from find food sellers onsite at the Zoo, the celebration extends beyond Zoo grounds and into the bordering Cleveland Park and Woodley Park neighborhoods. Beginning these days, numerous community companies are providing “Panda Specials” that range from panda-themed treats to savings on food stuff, drinks and merchandise by means of May possibly 15. To recognize participating shops, shoppers can glance for a Big Panda 50th Anniversary decal in retail outlet windows.

At any time since their arrival, big pandas have symbolized cross-cultural collaboration in between the United States and China. In 1972, Chinese Leading Zhou Enlai gifted two huge pandas to the American persons as a gesture of goodwill pursuing former President Richard M. Nixon’s groundbreaking state check out. The President and Very first Girl Pat Nixon chosen the Smithsonian’s Nationwide Zoo as female Ling-Ling and male Hsing-Hsing’s household in the United States. Then-Zoo director Theodore Reed personally escorted the bears from China, and they arrived in Washington, D.C., April 16, 1972. 4 days later on, Pat Nixon formally welcomed the panda pair to the Zoo.

For 5 a long time, the Zoo has cared for these charismatic bears by building and preserving 1 of the world’s foremost panda conservation systems. Collaboration involving Chinese colleagues and the Zoo’s group of animal care team, researchers and scientists has been the cornerstone of all those endeavours. Working together, these conservationists have built considerable contributions to the world expertise of large panda biology, actions, copy, health and habitat. Joint systems to prepare the upcoming generation of qualified research and animal care gurus assure that huge pandas go on to thrive in human treatment and in the wild for generations to occur. The unified work to generate and share knowledge is conserving this species from extinction. Big pandas are stated as “vulnerable” in the wild by the International Union for Conservation of Mother nature. There are an believed 1,800 in the wild.

The Zoo has renewed its Giant Panda Cooperative Analysis and Breeding Arrangement with the China Wildlife Conservation Affiliation a few periods considering that 2000. The present-day analysis agreement extension was signed Dec. 7, 2020, and stipulates the Zoo’s pandas will keep on to live at the Zoo by means of 2023. In trade, the Zoo contributes resources and experience towards conservation endeavours in China.

The Smithsonian’s Countrywide Zoo and Conservation Biology Institute qualified prospects the Smithsonian’s international work to save species, improved comprehend ecosystems and educate long run generations of conservationists. The Zoo instills a lifelong commitment to conservation by way of engaging activities with animals and the people doing work to help save them. Launched in 1889, the Zoo is house to 2,000 animals symbolizing extra than 380 species. Much more than 200 scientists and their companions, in extra than 30 nations around the world, build and share information to assist in the survival and restoration of species and their habitats. Conclusions from these experiments give important data for the management of populations below human care and useful insights for the conservation and administration of wild populations. For a lot more details, visit nationalzoo.si.edu. Abide by huge panda updates on the Zoo’s social media on Facebook, Instagram and Twitter applying the hashtags #Pandaversary and #GP50.

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Caption 1: March 1, 1985. Giant pandas Hsing-Hsing (left) and Ling-Ling (proper) at the Smithsonian’s Countrywide Zoo and Conservation Biology Institute.

Caption 2: Aug. 21, 2021. Huge panda mom Mei Xiang (left) and son Xiao Qi Ji (ideal) at the Smithsonian’s National Zoo and Conservation Biology Institute.