PHOTOS: Two New Giant Pandas Coming to the National Zoo

Smithsonian’s National Zoo and Conservation Biology Institute in Washington, D.C. will welcome two giant pandas from China at the end of the year! The pandas, Bao Li [BOW-lee] and Qing Bao [ching-BOW], are both two years old.

Bao Li: Giant panda coming to National Zoo

Two-year-old male giant panda Bao Li in his habitat at Shenshuping Base in Wolong, China, May 16. Photo credit: Roshan Patel, Smithsonian’s National Zoo and Conservation Biology Institute.

Qing Bao: Giant panda arriving at National Zoo

Two-year-old female giant panda Qing Bao in her habitat at Dujiangyan Base in Sichuan, China May 17. Photo credit: Roshan Patel, Smithsonian’s National Zoo and Conservation Biology Institute.

The pandas will be transported from China on a special flight provided by FedEx. Once they arrive, they will be quarantined (housed behind-the-scenes) for at least 30 days to prevent the spread of disease and to allow the pandas to get used to their new environment.

For more information about Bao Li and Qing Bao, visit the National Zoo website. For more information about giant pandas, see our article, Giant Panda.

Bao Li: Giant panda coming to National Zoo from China.

Bao Li in his habitat at Shenshuping Base in Wolong, China, May 16. Photo credit: Roshan Patel, Smithsonian’s National Zoo and Conservation Biology Institute.

Qing Bao: Giant panda coming to National Zoo

Qing Bao at Dujiangyan Base in Sichuan, China May 17. Photo credit: Roshan Patel, Smithsonian’s National Zoo and Conservation Biology Institute.

VIDEO: First Giant Panda Cubs Born in Canada

The two little panda cubs born at Toronto Zoo are now a month old! Although they were born pink and hairless, they now resemble their mother Er Shun with the distinctive black and white markings.

The larger of the cubs weighs 1 kg, while the smaller one weighs 750 grams.

Giant panda and cub

Er Shun and her cub. Photo by Toronto Zoo.

Learn more about Toronto Zoo’s giant panda cubs at their website.

Learn more about pandas at our giant panda facts article.

Year in Review: Baby Animals of 2014

This year, we fell in love with many new fuzzy faces and cuddly cuties.  Here are a few of our favorite baby animals of 2014!


Best Peek-a-Boo:
Nashville Zoo had a bounty of little kangaroo joeys popping up left and right this fall.  Here’s one of them:

Kangaroo joey peeking out from pouch

Photo by Aimee Stubbs / Nashville Zoo.


Cutest Yawn:
Three male lion cubs were born at Woodland Park Zoo in Seattle on October 24. We love the middle guy’s yawn! Spending 16-20 hours of the day sleeping or resting, lions are the laziest of the big cats. In the wild, they can be found lying on their backs with their feet up or taking a snooze up in a tree.

Three lion cubs

Photo by Photo by Dr. Darin Collins / Woodland Park Zoo.


Bounciest Baby:
A baby klipspringer was born on March 30 at the Lincoln Park Zoo in Chicago. The term “klipspringer” is Afrikaans for “rock jumper”, and this little antelope sure does live up to her name!

Photo by Lincoln Park Zoo.

Photo by Lincoln Park Zoo.


Cutest Snout:
Busch Gardens welcomed a Southern tamandua (or lesser anteater) on April 13. In the wild, tamanduas inhabit Central and South America.

Southern tamandua

Photo by Busch Gardens.


Best Belly Rolls:
This little roly-poly hippo calf, born at Taronga Western Plains Zoo in Dubbo, Australia on September 11, is just irresistible. In the wild, hippos live in sub-Saharan Africa. The hippopotamus is the second heaviest land mammal in the world!

Baby hippo and mama

Photo by Anthony Dorian / Taronga Western Plains Zoo.


Coziest Hug:
The Memphis Zoo welcomed a male baby bonobo on April 28 named Mpingo (EM-pingo), which is a type of African tree.  The wood from mpingo trees are used to make musical instruments, and so mpingos are sometimes referred to as “trees that make music”. According to Matt Thompson, Director of Animal Programs, “He certainly brings harmony and joy to the group.”

Baby bonobo and mother

Photo by Laura Horn. Courtesy of Memphis Zoo.

We hope you enjoyed our roundup of adorable animal babies of 2014! Happy New Year!

Featured Animal: Giant Panda

Meet our featured animal, the giant panda!

giant panda

Here are five fun facts about giant pandas:

  • Giant pandas are endangered, with only about 1600 left living in the wild.
  • Giant pandas can weigh between 100-115 kg (220-250 lb.).
  • One of the interesting evolutionary traits of the panda is their protruding wrist bone that acts like a thumb. This helps the pandas hold bamboo while they munch on it with their strong molar teeth.
  • Bamboo makes up nearly the entire diet of the panda. Due to the low nutritional value of bamboo, pandas need to eat 10-20 kg (20-40 lb.) a day.
  • Female pandas are only able to become pregnant for 2-3 days each spring!

Learn more at our giant panda facts page.