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Xiao Qi Ji Proves He Is a Quick Learner

Posted By : The Animal Facts Editorial Team

Date: June 27, 2021 1:00 am

Panda Cub Xiao Qi Ji Training

Xiao Qi Ji the giant panda feeds on some bamboo

Photo Credit: Smithsonian's National Zoo

Xiao Qi Ji the giant panda cub has begun his training sessions as he approaches 10 months old. Recently he has been showing that he is a pro at target training. This is where a keeper presents a dowel with a ball on the end and he sniffs this. When he touches it he receives a rewards.

This training takes place in his indoor habitat normally in the morning once mom, Mei Xiang has moved outside for the day. He likes to sleep in but will normally wake up for training.

Panda Cub Xiao Qi Ji Training

Assistant curator of giant pandas at the Smithsonian's National Zoo Laurie Thompson works with Xiao Qi Ji the giant panda during his training

Photo Credit: Smithsonian's National Zoo

Recently keepers have introduced a new behavior, standing up. His keeper will hold their hand in front of his face and then point their index finger to the sky. Xiao Qi Ji will follow this and stand up on his legs.

On the first occasion he mastered this skill he was rewarded with a nutrient-rich biscuit and a very enthusiastic “good boy!" It was well deserved. This quick learner mastered the behavior on his second go.

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Xiao Qi Ji is given the option to participate in these sessions or not. He has shown that he enjoys interaction with keepers and while he is young keepers can safely work in with him. As he grows though he will eventually only work with keepers through mesh.

Keepers are working to build this trust as it will mean he can help with his own care for the rest of his life. For instance standing up will help the cub to give keepers a better view of his torso, front and hind legs.

Panda Cub Xiao Qi Ji Training

Assistant curator of giant pandas at the Smithsonian's National Zoo Laurie Thompson works with Xiao Qi Ji the giant panda during his training

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

Panda Cub Xiao Qi Ji Training

Xiao Qi Ji the giant panda feeds on some bamboo

Photo Credit: Smithsonian's National Zoo

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