Image: © Roshan Patel, Smithsonian’s National Zoo and Conservation Biology Institute

A Giant Panda Party at Smithsonian's National Zoo


The Animal Facts Editorial Team


July 24, 2023 11:05 am


Washington DC, The United States

Smithsonian's National Zoo and Conservation Biology Institute (NZCBI)  have celebrated the birthday of their giant panda matriarch, Mei Xiang. Her 25th birthday was celebrated with a special panda-friendly fruitsicle.

Mei Xiang lives at the zoo's Asia Trail habitat in the David M. Rubenstein Family Giant Panda Habitat. She lives alongside male, Tian Tian and her son, Xiao Qi Ji born in August 2020.

To celebrate her birthday the Zoo’s Department of Nutrition Science prepared a special panda-friendly fruitsicle cake topped with the number 25. The special cake was formed using apple juice. Mashed sweet potatoes, mashed carrots, apple slices and bamboo added a decorative flair to the festive treat.

She was born on July 22nd 1998 at the China Research and Conservation Center for the Giant Panda in Wolong, Sichuan Province. Over her time at the zoo she has given birth to four surviving cubs with the latest being Xiao Qi Ji.

Smithsonian's National Zoo celebrated 50 years of housing giant pandas in 2022. Mei Xiang and Tian Tian are planned to return to China at the end of 2023 with the conclusion of the current agreement with China.

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giant panda

More on the Giant Panda!

With just 1600 pandas remaining in the wild find out what is being done to save this conservation icon in our fact file.

Our Favourite Giant Panda Fact!

One of their best know features of the giant panda that they feed almost exclusively on bamboo despite being adapted to feed on meat. Fruits, carrion and bulbs make up the rest of their diet.

Image: © Roshan Patel, Smithsonian’s National Zoo and Conservation Biology Institute

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