Two days ago, our beloved panda family – mother Mei Xiang, father Tian Tian, and their son Xiao Qi Ji – left for China. We’re going to miss them so much. Here are some of our favorite photos of them:
Xiao Qi Ji
Xiao Qi Ji was born at the National Zoo in 2020, and his name means “little miracle” because it was an unexpected pregnancy given Mei Xiang’s advanced maternal age.
Mei Xiang was born in China in 1998, and came to the National Zoo in 2000.
Mei Xiang and Xiao Qi Ji together
Mei Xiang and Xiao Qi Ji lived together up until he was 2 1/2, but then they were ready to separate, as pandas live largely solitary lives in the wild.
Tian Tian was born in China in 1997, and came to the National Zoo in 2000.
And thanks to their keepers!
The public only gets to see a small fraction of all of the care that has been given to the pandas. We’ve especially liked seeing the keepers give the pandas birthday and other treats.
If you want to see more about all the pandas who have lived at the National Zoo, check out our article last year on the 50th anniversary of the panda program.