Pandas devour ice cake to celebrate 50 years at National Zoo – What We Know!

Pandas devour ice cake to celebrate 50 years at National Zoo

WASHINGTON – The “cake” was constructed from frozen fruit juice, candy potatoes, carrots and sugar cane and it lasted about quarter-hour as soon as big panda mama Mei Xiang and her cub Xiao Qi Ji acquired maintain of it.

The Nationwide Zoo’s most well-known tenants had an enthusiastic breakfast Saturday in entrance of adoring crowds because the zoo celebrated 50 years of its iconic panda change settlement with the Chinese language authorities.

Xiao Qi Ji’s father Tian Tian largely sat out the morning festivities, munching bamboo in a neighboring enclosure with the sounds of his chomping clearly audible throughout an announcement by Chinese language ambassador Qin Gang. The ambassador praised the bears as “an emblem of the friendship” between the nations.

Pandas are virtually completely solitary by nature, and within the wild Tian Tian would most likely by no means even meet his little one. He acquired the same cake for lunch.

Along with hailing the 1972 settlement sparked by President Richard Nixon’s landmark go to to China, Saturday’s celebration additionally highlighted the success of the worldwide big panda breeding program, which has helped convey the bears again from the brink of extinction.


Xiao Qi Ji’s start in August 2020 was hailed as a close to miracle, resulting from Mei Xiang’s superior age and the truth that zoo workers carried out the bogus insemination process below tight restrictions shortly after the COVID-19 pandemic shut the whole zoo. At age 22, Mei Xiang was the oldest big panda to efficiently give start in america.

Usually they might have used a mix of frozen sperm and recent semen extracted from Tian Tian. However so as to reduce the variety of close-quarters medical procedures, zoo officers used solely frozen semen.

“It was undoubtedly a long-shot being pregnant,” stated Bryan Amaral, the zoo’s senior curator for mammals.


In honor of that lengthy shot, the now 20-month-old cub was given a reputation that interprets as “little miracle.” His start in mid-pandemic sparked a recent wave of panda-mania, with viewership on the zoo’s panda-cam livestream spiking by 1,200 p.c.

“I understand how passionate persons are about pandas,” Amaral stated. “I’m not stunned by that keenness in any respect.”

Certain sufficient, crowds began streaming straight for the panda part at 8 a.m. when the zoo opened. Sisters Lorelai and Everley Greenwell, age 6 and 5, ran towards the enclosure chanting “Pandas! Pandas!”

They watched the cub tumble round, attempt to wrestle his mother and tear the zero off the large 50 emblazoned on the ice cake.

“They knew this was coming,” stated their mom Kayleigh Greenwell of Mount Ranier, Maryland, stated of her ladies. “We’ve been speaking about all of it week.”


The zoo’s authentic 1972 panda pair, Ling-Ling and Hsing-Hsing, have been star points of interest on the zoo for many years, however panda pregnancies are notoriously difficult and none of their cubs survived.

Mei Xiang and Tian Tian arrived in 2000, and the pair has efficiently birthed three different cubs: Tai Shan, Bao Bao and Bei Bei — additionally by synthetic insemination. All have been transported to China at age 4, below phrases of the zoo’s settlement with the Chinese language authorities.

Related agreements with zoos world wide have helped revitalize the large panda inhabitants. Down to only over 1000 bears within the Nineteen Eighties, the species has since been faraway from the lists of animals in peril of extinction.

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