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A Water Loving Boy! Catch up with Xiao Qi Ji the Panda

Posted By : The Animal Facts Editorial Team

Date: March 6, 2021 8:40 pm

xiao qi ji the giant panda

Xiao Qi Ji the giant panda tries banana for the first time

Photo Credit: Smithsonian's National Zoo

In our weekly catch-up with Xiao Qi Ji the giant panda cub he has had a busy week. This included trying out water from the basin in mom Mei Xiang's den. While outside he also lapped some water from the pipe in the outdoor pool.

Currently the water level in the pool has been dropped to keep the cub safe. Keeper's will find out in the next few months if he will take after his father Tian Tian who loves to splash around in water from the hose while the keepers are cleaning his enclosure.

xiao qi ji the giant panda cub

Xiao Qi Ji the giant panda cub tries out climbing on his favorite platform

Photo Credit: Smithsonian's National Zoo

Xiao Qi Ji has been getting more adventurous when he is outside. He has settled in to a routine of heading straight for the climbing structure in the middle of the yard when he goes out each morning. He will spend his morning climbing, balancing, hanging and tumbling.

Being young these adventures often tire him out and this leads to a nap in the hammock for the rest of the time outside. On two occasions keepers have had to venture in to the yard to retrieve the napping cub as he wouldn't come in.

In another instance though he surprised keepers when he was at the front of the yard and they called him to follow mother, Mei Xiang inside. He listened and quickly followed after her.

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Xiao Qi Ji will nurse till he is six months old but keepers are continuing to introduce new foods. This week he tried out banana mashed on to an enrichment toy. He took several bites and keepers say the reaction indicated he didn't hate it but didn't love it either.

Sweet potato remains his favorite food and his enthusiasm for this far outweighs that for other food.

He continues to grow. At this weeks weigh-in he added 1.5lbs to reach 13.16kg (28.95lbs).

Xiao Qi Ji the giant panda cub plays with a log which he dragged in to his den

Video Credit: Smithsonian's National Zoo

For this week's final adventure Xiao Qi Ji got innovative with his enrichment. While keepers provide plenty of toys the cub found his own enrichment in the form of a small log. He dragged this to the den where he rolled it in his arms and had a great time playing.

xiao qi ji the giant panda cub

Xiao Qi Ji the giant panda tries banana for the first time

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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