March 3, 2024
Time for cake!

Time for cake!

The National Zoo is celebrating panda cub Xiao Qi Ji’s second birthday Sunday with a special fruitsicle cake.

Xiao Qi Ji was born Aug. 21, 2020, to mother Mei Xiang at the National Zoo in Washington, D.C.

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Giant panda cub Xiao Qi Ji turns two years-old Sunday, Aug. 21, 2022. As of last fall, he receives his own diet twice a day.
(Credit: Smithsonian’s National Zoo)

The panda cub currently weighs 117 pounds.

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Mother Mei Xiang also celebrated her 24th birthday last month. With Xiao Qi Ji’s birth, Mei Xiang became the oldest giant panda in the country to give birth and the second oldest in the world to give birth.

The pandas’ birthday celebrations come as the zoo celebrates 50 years of breeding, conservation, care, and study of giant pandas.

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Ling-Ling and Hsing-Hsing were the first two giant pandas to be part of the Giant Panda Program at the Smithsonian’s National Zoo and Conservation Biology Institute.
(Credit: Smithsonian’s National Zoo)

Chinese Premier Zhou Enlai gifted the first pair of giant pandas, Ling-Ling and Hsing-Hsing, to the National Zoo half of a century ago.

As part of an agreement with the China Wildlife Conservation Association, any offspring of Mei Xiang and Tian Tian, who came to the National Zoo in 2000, are required to return to China once the cubs turn 4. Xiao Qi Ji is the youngest of Mei Xiang’s four cubs.

CLICK HERE TO READ MORE FROM THE WASHINGTON EXAMINER

Video of the National Zoo’s pandas can be viewed here.

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