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A Little Giant Panda Cub Explores the Big Wide World

Posted By : The Animal Facts Editorial Team

Date: February 21, 2021 12:15 pm

giant panda cub smithsonian national zoo

Xiao Qi Ji the giant panda cub has explored the outside exhibit

Photo Credit: Smithsonian’s National Zoo

Xiao Qi Ji the giant panda cub at the Smithsonian’s National Zoo in the US has explored outside accompanied by his mother, Mei Xiang. The little cub has just turned six months old.

On February 16th 2021 keepers opened the door to the outside exhibit where a pile of fresh bamboo was waiting for her to eat. Xiao Qi Ji was too busy playing at this time to follow his mother or even notice that she left.

Keepers closed the door to the yard and called Xiao Qi Ji out to the patio which is the covered area between the indoor and outdoor areas of the exhibit. Keepers then stepped out and opened the gate again.

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This time Mei Xiang came over to investigate the nose and when she returned to her bamboo Xiao Qi Ji trotted after her.

Xiao Qi Ji followed in the foot steps of his siblings in being cautious yet curious during his first outing. Mostly he stayed on a sidewalk which runs along the back of the yard. During his adventures he was able to peek through the “howdy” windows which look in to his father Tian Tian’s habitat.

Xiao Qi Ji the giant panda cub explores the outside world

Photo Credit: Smithsonian’s National Zoo

As part of his adventure’s Xiao Qi Ji also had a try at climbing some mesh but lost his grip just a few inches off the ground.


During his outing Xiao Qi Ji had the opportunity to wander inside or outside and did this a few times. He did this for around 45 minutes before he did not go back outside.


Keepers are hoping he will be able to go back outside again soon. Unfortunately slow and sleet are not ideal for acclimating to the new environment so recent below freezing temperatures have not allowed this.

giant panda cub smithsonian national zoo

Xiao Qi Ji the giant panda cub explores the outside world

Photo Credit: Smithsonian’s National Zoo

Learn more about giant pandas here – Giant Panda Fact File | The Animal Facts

Learn more about the Smithsonian’s National Zoo on their website – Smithsonian’s National Zoo

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