Washington, DC

Photo Credit: Roshan Patel/Smithsonian’s National Zoo

From the National Zoo:

“Giant panda Bei Bei (BAY-BAY) celebrated his third birthday Aug. 22 with an ice cake made from frozen, diluted fruit juices and decorated with apples, pears, sweet potatoes, carrots, sugar cane and bamboo.

Now weighing in at almost 215 pounds, Bei Bei has been taking full advantage of his summer Read More


Photo by PoPville flickr user John Sonderman

From the National Zoo on Sunday:

“Beginning today, the David M. Rubenstein Family Giant Panda Habitat will be closed to keep a quiet area around female giant panda Mei Xiang’s den. Although keepers are not able to confirm if she is pregnant, Mei Xiang is exhibiting expected, normal behaviors after the secondary hormone rise that are in line with both a pregnancy and pseudo, or false, pregnancy. She is building a nest in her den, has a decreased appetite, is sleeping more and is reacting to loud noises. Paws-crossed! Read More


Photo by PoPville flickr user angela n.

From the Smithsonian’s National Zoo:

“Tian Tian had a preventative health exam yesterday. He was taken to the veterinary hospital, which allowed our veterinarians to get an up-close and in-depth look at him while he was under anesthesia. As part of the exam, they took a blood sample, urine sample and x-rays. They also performed an ultrasound to look at his abdomen and organs. Veterinarians did not find anything abnormal, but Tian Tian may be starting to show some changes that are normal for an older bear. The biggest change that the keepers have noticed is that he has lost some weight during the past several months. He weighs 260 pounds, and his weight has been holding steady for the past month. His behavior and appetite are normal, but the panda team wanted to take a closer look as an extra precaution.

“Dr. Don Neiffer performs acupuncture on Tian Tian during a full veterinary exam. The acupuncture may help improve Tian Tian’s overall muscle tone.” (Photo: Roshan Patel/Smithsonian’s National Zoo)

During the exam, veterinarians also took the opportunity to perform acupuncture and laser treatment–both are complementary treatments. Read More


Photo courtesy Smithsonian’s National Zoo


From the Smithsonian’s National Zoo on Sunday:

“Yesterday in the late afternoon, Mei Xiang and Bei Bei began to respond to each other’s vocalizations. Bei Bei actively climbed around his den so keepers decided to reintroduce Mei Xiang and Bei Bei to help him settle down. After an initial period of high activity during the introduction, Bei Bei nursed for 20 minutes and they both fell asleep. Bei Bei has successfully nursed three times thus far. Read More


Photo courtesy Smithsonian’s National Zoo

From a press release:

“Smithsonian’s National Zoo’s giant panda cub Bei Bei is stable and recovering following an emergency bowel obstruction surgery to remove a dense, masticated lemon-sized mass of bamboo.

“I’m extremely proud and thankful for our team of keepers, veterinarians, animal care staff, volunteer medical experts and all staff who have helped facilitate the urgent response,” said Director Dennis Kelly. “Bei Bei’s prognosis is very good. The challenge will be for our team to monitor him safely and that requires his cooperation. We will keep everyone up to speed as he recovers.”

On Thursday, Nov. 24, giant panda cub Bei Bei showed signs of stomach discomfort and nausea. He was sleeping more than normal and not eating. Bei Bei was given an anti-nausea medication injection and remained in his indoor enclosure under observation. Zoo animal care and veterinary staff observed him closely throughout the day and made periodic checks overnight to monitor his condition. Read More


Bei Bei
Via Smithsonian’s National Zoo

From the National Zoo:

“When he is being held, Bei Bei also makes a happy grunting sound that indicates he feels secure (although you can’t quite hear it on the cam). Fun fact: panda cubs may look like giant fluffballs, but panda fur is actually very coarse and dense like wool (especially on their backs and rear ends). Cub fur is much softer but Bei Bei is already getting the coarse fur!

ICYMI: Bei Bei will make his public debut on January 16. Mark your calendars! “


bei bei
Photo via Smithsonian’s National Zoo

Big news from the National Zoo:

“Bei Bei will make his public debut Jan. 16! @FONZNationalZoo member previews will be Jan. 8-15”

From their newsletter:

“Giant panda cub Bei Bei will go on public exhibit for the first time Jan. 16, 2016. In the past three months, he has transformed from a pink hairless cub weighing about 5 ounces to a robust 12.5-pound black-and-white cub capable of crawling and sometimes walking on his own.

The panda team has been monitoring him carefully since his birth Aug. 22. He is larger than both his older siblings Bao Bao and Tai Shan were at the same age. The panda house has been closed since August to give the mother and cub quiet and time to bond. When it reopens, the panda house will be open from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. daily.”

Ed. Note: Damn it, why did I let my Fonz membership lapse?!?!?

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