Bites at Animal Planet

Giant Panda

25 Sep

National Zoo Names New Baby Panda

In an announcement made today, broadcasted live through Periscope, First Lady Michelle Obama and First Lady of the People's Republic of China Peng Liyuan revealed the name for the Zoo's newest panda cub. His name is Bei Bei, which means precious, treasure in Mandarin. 

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The tradition is to name a panda cub 100 days after they are born as a nod to Chinese culture. In this case, tradition was broken, but it was a special ceremony, especially with Mrs. Obama and Mme. Peng in attendance. 

Screen Shot 2015-09-25 at 11.48.57 AM

When he turns four, Bei Bei will be sent to the China Conservation and Research Center for the Giant Panda in Wolong, Sichuan Province for breeding purposes. 

Now, he is a whooping 2.95 pounds and growing every day! He won't be on display to public until early 2016. 

Keepers were able to weigh the panda cub yesterday and he’s 2.95 pounds of adorable! The 4.5 week-old cub is now larger than both his siblings were at the same age. Bao Bao was about 2 pounds and Tai Shan was 2.6 pounds. He had a veterinary exam Sept. 17, and he’s 31 centimeters long from his head to the tip of his tail. He is able to push himself up on his 10 centimeter-long front legs and sometimes scoots around the den. He’s not walking yet, though. But, he can hear now! Keepers noticed that he reacted to the noise of a door opening on Saturday. His eyes won’t open for another few weeks. #PandaStory

Posted by Smithsonian’s National Zoo and Conservation Biology Institute on Tuesday, September 22, 2015

Get more adorable panda action here!

22 Aug

UPDATE: Mei Xiang, National Zoo Loses One Baby Panda Cub

We are sad to announce that the smaller of the two panda cubs has died.The panda team continues to monitor Mei Xiang...

Posted by Smithsonian’s National Zoo and Conservation Biology Institute on Wednesday, August 26, 2015

UPDATE 8/26: The Smithsonian's National Zoo has reported that one cub, the smaller of the two, has passed away.

The Smithsonian Zoo reported earlier this weekend that its Giant Panda Mei Xiang gave birth to two cubs. The Zoo confirmed the news on their Facebook page Saturday.


We can confirm a second giant panda cub was born at 10:07 pm. The panda team retrieved one of the cubs per "twin hand...

Posted by Smithsonian’s National Zoo and Conservation Biology Institute on Saturday, August 22, 2015

The first birth was reported late afternoon Saturday.


We have a cub! Giant panda Mei Xiang gave birth at 5:35 p.m. and reacted to the cub by picking it up. The panda team...

Posted by Smithsonian’s National Zoo and Conservation Biology Institute on Saturday, August 22, 2015

Only last Wednesday they were announcing the pregnancy by sharing an ultrasound. We'll keep you posted on the latest developments, but in the meantime you may try checking out their Panda Cam.

Mei Xiang isn't a first-time mama. Check out this video from her first birth:

Continue reading >

10 Feb

Giant Panda in Toronto, Only Mammal in North America Still Enjoying Snow

We're glad *someone* is still enjoying the snow fall:

We're guessing the majority of warm-blooded animals in North America (us) are done with this winter. SO DONE. Shall we say ...

SNOWver it? 

I apologize. It had to be written.

Photo: YouTube image

Continue reading >

6 Nov

The Polls are Still Open! Cast Your Vote to Name the National Zoo's Panda Baby!


Photo: Abby Wood, Smithsonian's National Zoo

In case you missed out on your civic duty yesterday, it's not too late to cast a very, very important vote - help name the Smithsonian National Zoo's panda cub!

On August 23, 2013, giant panda Mei Xiang gave birth to a beautiful baby girl. And, in Chinese tradition, a new baby is officially given a name on the 100th day of life.

Visit the National Zoo's website to cast your vote >>

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Photo: Screenshot of the National Zoo's website

Continue reading >

4 Oct

5 Things to Do While The National Zoo's Panda Cam is Shut Down

We miss keeping up with Mei Xiang and her new cub at the National Zoo, and hope to see them online again soon. But while we wait, we present 5 ways to pass the time as illustrated by the adorable pandas of Bifengxia Panda Base (the stars of the latest cam from Animal Planet L!VE and!).

5) Take a nap



Continue reading >

23 Aug

National Zoo's panda cub is a girl! (Watch Video)

The Great Panda Paternity Mystery is solved. (Photo Credit: Smithsonian's National Zoo)

UPDATE at 11AM on September 5: The most popular cub in America is a GIRL! The Smithsonian's National Zoo announced Mei Xiang's newest cub is a female and that her father is none other than Tian Tian, the zoo's resident male panda.

Due to Tian Tian's ineffective "natural technique," Mei Xiang was artificially inseminated with sperm from Tian Tian and Gao Gao, a male panda from San Diego Zoo, according to the Washington Post. Mei Xiang had fraternal twins last month, one of which was stillborn. The stillborn was also a girl.

Check out new video of mother and daughter cuddling. Aww!


Continue reading >

14 Aug

CUTE ALERT: Baby Panda and Mom Meet for First Time


Photo: YouTube screen capture SEE MORE PANDA PHOTOS >>

Get ready for one of the sweetest moments you've ever seen! Baby Panda Yuan Zai was born a month ago to parents Yuan Yuan and Tuan Tuan at the Taipei Zoo. 

The newborn baby girl has been in an incubator while zookeepers have been evaluating Mom's nursing abilities with a stuffed panda baby doll (OMG!). Giant panda babies are very susceptible to diseases as well as smothering — literally, physically — by their significantly bigger mamas.

Watch the tearful reunion:

Cries of joy! More sweet moments here:

Continue reading >

19 Sep

PANDA WATCH 2012: Glimpses of Smithsonian National Zoo's Baby Panda



EXCLUSIVE! See that pic I took above from the live panda cam?!  That little blob coming out of what looks like a panda face?  That's Mei licking her wee babe!  I promise - it really is.  I watched this happen ... for a LONG time. It was definitely her tongue.

Some people may be keeping close watch on the Smithsonian National Zoo's Panda Cam for fleeting glimpses of the newest addition (Me!).  Mommy Mei Xiang has been doing an excellent job caring for her newborn; unfortunately for us - the adoring public - that means she's keeping her teeny tiny cub close and out-of-sight as she grooms and nurses the little one.  It's like she knows the paparazzi are ready to pounce ...

Fortunately, I have a second computer monitor which comes in handy during the work day when there are important cams like puppies and pandas to keep close tabs on.  In case you missed it, here's a video snippet by the National Zoo as Mei cares for the cub, lifting him gently in her mouth.


17 Sep

Congrats, Mei Xiang! National Zoo's Giant Panda Gives Birth



Congratulations, Mommy Mei Xiang! 

The giant panda at the Smithsonian's National Zoo in Washington, D.C., gave birth last night at approximately 10:46 p.m. local time. 

She's tired and holding her newborn oh so cuddly close, like a good mommy!  Read the full Animals in the News story.

In honor of the sweet little newborn, check out this oldie but goodie - sneezing baby panda!  This never gets old!


More on Giant Pandas:
Giant Panda Videos
About Panda Birth

Photo: Mehgan Murphy, Smithsonian's National Zoo
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