Posted By : The Animal Facts Editorial Team
Date: November 1, 2021 7:34 pm
Photo Credit: Smithsonian's National Zoo
It's been a busy month for giant panda cub Xiao Qi Ji at the Smithsonian's National Zoo. The 14 month old cub has been enjoying sensory enrichment and is beginning to enjoy his own diet.
A highlight of the month was when Xiao Qi Ji got to play with bubble bath with mom Mei Xiang. Bubble bath is a favorite scent for Mei Xiang and they will rub it all over themselves. As the pair played they started a wrestling match and their ears become spiky from the solution.
Along with their sensory enrichment the panda pair enjoyed some mental stimulation from puzzle feeders. Recently Xiao Qi Ji tried out a large purple ball with multiple holes. To increase the challenge the holes are plugged with hay.
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As he grows Xiao Qi Ji is becoming more independent. He is now receiving his own feed twice per day to ensure he can eat it without it being stolen by mom. Occasionally he still seeks to nurse from mom mainly for comfort.
The cub is becoming more efficient at consuming his food and is defensive if his mother attempts to steal his food. He himself will enjoy some of mom's food whenever he gets the chance.
At present the majority of the diet for Xiao Qi Ji is made up of bamboo, fruit and high fiber biscuits.
His day typically sees him spending the morning on one of his 'projects.' These include playing with tree branches, exploring a tree, climbing a structure or scaling the rockwork in his enclosure. Often he won't spend time with his mom till the afternoon.
Xiao Qi Ji and his mother Mei Xiang play with bubble bath mixture at the Smithsonian's National Zoo
Video Credit: Smithsonian's National Zoo