How do you evaluate a calendar year of large panda cub cuteness? Giant panda Xiao Qi Ji — the Smithsonian’s National Zoo’s “little miracle” — offers all who observe his #PandaStory a explanation to smile. Appear again at his sweet snuggles, playful pounces and cute adventures as we recap our preferred cub movies of 2021!
Prior to we start out our countdown . . .
January 2022 | Content New 12 months
New yr, new Xiao Qi Ji! Again in January 2021, our large panda cub was a tiny cautious throughout his first encounter with snow. On Jan. 3, 2022, the 16-month-old plowed face-initial into the fresh powder, rolled all-around and relished the year’s initial snow day. His belly-sliding capabilities are 10/10!
1 year back . . .
January 2021 | Livestream with Xiao Qi Ji
On Jan. 27, the big panda team hosted their to start with-at any time virtual experience with Xiao Qi Ji. His most recent enrichment toy—a vivid green ball with a smaller handle—made an visual appeal in the broadcast. Since it was created from a softer content than the adults’ toys, it was great for him to chew on and sink his claws into. It was also scented like green apple, furnishing some olfactory enrichment, much too. All through the livestream, this ball was at the centre of a pleasant game of tug-of-war concerning Xiao Qi Ji and keeper Marty Dearie. For his modest stature, Xiao Qi Ji was remarkably sturdy!
https://www.youtube.com/look at?v=Xfy49W4jhVkOnline video
February 2021 | Venturing Exactly where the Sidewalk Finishes
A great deal like his siblings Tai Shan, Bao Bao and Bei Bei were for the duration of their to start with outings, Xiao Qi Ji was cautious but curious when he explored the outdoor habitat for the to start with time Feb. 16. He walked along the wall of the panda residence, sniffed the doors and gates and took in all the new sights and smells. Xiao Qi Ji peeked into the “howdy” window that seems to be into his father Tian Tian’s garden. He also examined out his climbing capabilities on the mesh that separates the keeper spot from the bears’ property, but he didn’t get significantly right before he dropped his grip and dropped just a couple inches to the floor under. Even although Xiao Qi Ji stayed close to “home base,” his first outing was prosperous!
March 2021 | Exploring New Sites
At 6 months outdated, Xiao Qi Ji’s self-assurance in discovering more of his outside habitat grew. On March 12, Mei Xiang took him on a tour of the moat—the place filled with greenery at the entrance of their habitat. That tour seemed to strengthen Xiao Qi Ji’s assurance! Pursuing that adventure, he started off discovering other regions of the lawn daily—even on his possess. On March 18, he thoroughly investigated the climbing framework beneath the hammock. Xiao Qi Ji also figured out how to use the logs as a pathway and adopted them to the leading of the grotto.
April 2021 | Climbing to New Heights
Xiao Qi Ji put his climbing techniques to the take a look at in April. This after cautious cub grew to become much far more confident in his skills to maneuver around the outside habitat. Keepers had been amazed when mom Mei Xiang channeled her internal cub and joined Xiao Qi Ji for a climb on his most loved participate in construction. He appeared thrilled to play with her and confirmed off some of the climbing, hanging and tumbling techniques that he has worked to fantastic above the previous two months. They also went for a enjoyment roll down the hill!
May perhaps 2021 | Xiao Qi Ji Greets His Enthusiasts
Anytime our animal care group introduces a youthful animal to visitors for the very first time, they consider to do so gradually. That way, they can gauge their reaction and watch how they reply to new faces, appears and smells. When our 9-thirty day period-old huge panda cub Xiao Qi Ji designed his initial visual appearance to people May possibly 21, he went about his day-to-day plan and never ever skipped a defeat. He napped in the cover of his preferred tree in the early morning. Then, in the early afternoon, he trotted inside the Panda Household and played with his mother, Mei Xiang, whilst she rested on the rockwork.
June 2021 | A Brief Learner
At 10 months previous, Xiao Qi Ji was starting to get the cling of focus on education! Keepers offered him with a target—a ball on the conclude of a dowel—and he instinctively sniffed to investigate. Any time he touched his nose to the concentrate on, he acquired his favorite meals, cooked sweet potato, as a reward. Participation in schooling is fully voluntary, but Xiao Qi Ji seemed to love interacting with keepers.
July 2021 | Character That Shines
At 11 months aged, Xiao Qi Ji’s personality was very evident! He frequently ran all-around the habitat with a bounce to his phase. Xiao Qi Ji nearly anything and every thing into a fun toy—from enrichment products, to pieces of bamboo, to sticks that he identified outside. He spent a ton of his time figuring out how enrichment merchandise perform. One particular day, he leaned back again and held a puzzle feeder toy previously mentioned his head—the very same way Mei Xiang does! It was currently vacant as Mei Xiang experienced eaten the biscuits inside of (they have been hers, after all), but it seemed like he attempted his mom’s approach to see if there ended up any crumbs still left.
August 2021 | Happy Initially Birthday, Xiao Qi Ji
Aug. 21 was a large day for our “little wonder.” Large panda cub Xiao Qi Ji celebrated his to start with birthday and shared not one particular but two delectable fruitsicle cakes with his mom, Mei Xiang. Mei Xiang was the first to stage exterior at 7:30 a.m. and created a b-line for the sweet deal with. She opted to try to eat the bamboo stalks that sprouted from the cake to start with. When Xiao Qi Ji trotted around to his mom, he attained for the decorative fruit and veggie slices that adorned the cake. The moment those people had all been eaten, he grabbed the giant coronary heart built of frozen-diluted apple juice and rolled about in the greenery. The giant panda group received several nicely needs from Xiao Qi Ji’s admirers. Even China’s new Ambassador to the United States, Qin Gang, reflected on our precious panda’s unique working day and our shared purpose to conserve the species.
September 2021 | A Splashing Superior Time
Big panda cub Xiao Qi Ji may possibly have observed a new preferred pastime. While keepers had been hosing down the outdoor patio Sept. 16, our curious cub arrived in excess of to supervise — and jumped ideal in the spray! Just like his father, Tian Tian, and mom, Mei Xiang, Xiao Qi Ji appears to be to delight in actively playing in water, although every single bear has his or her personal unique style. The way Xiao Qi Ji interacts with the hose spray is very similar to the way his more mature brother, Bei Bei, applied to engage in. On the other hand, licking the spray — as he did Sept. 16 — is a trait that is exceptional to Xiao Qi Ji!
Oct 2021 | A Bubble Bathtub Wrestling Match
Though the large panda group was cleaning the bears’ habitat, keepers gave Mei Xiang and Xiao Qi Ji some bubble tub solution—one of Mei Xiang’s favorite scents. When huge pandas take pleasure in a certain scent, they rub it all around on their own, a behavior named scent-anointing. It turned into a wrestling match with equally pandas covered in the bubble tub, and the fur on their ears became spiky from the resolution. It was great to see Xiao Qi Ji delight in the scent in the identical way as his mom and with his mother!
November 2021 | Winter season Arrives Early
“Winter” arrived a minimal early to the David M. Rubenstein Household Large Panda Habitat this 12 months, treatment of the Zoo’s Section of Diet Science. They delivered the huge panda team with a pallet of ice for all 3 pandas to play in. Like his parents, Xiao Qi Ji appears to be a massive fan of the cold stuff. He experienced a blast conquering the ice “mountain” and even did some sledding!
December 2021 | Pool Playtime
On Dec. 17, Xiao Qi Ji took his initial dip in further h2o. At only 12 inches significant, the h2o amount was substantial sufficient for him to consider a “panda paddle” nonetheless low more than enough that he could easily contact the base. He straddled the driftwood logs—a bit like a makeshift raft—and regularly tried to sink one particular of his favourite enrichment toys. At moments, he sat on the ledge of the pool, rubbed drinking water on his ears and playfully nipped at the fur on his stomach, which had gathered in well known peaks. He appeared to genuinely love taking part in in the pool and later on was so excited that he ran outdoors and climbed a pair of trees!
This story seems in the January 2022 situation of National Zoo Information. Seeking for more adorable animal antics? Really do not miss out on 10 Animal Videos That Topped Our List in 2021.