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National Zoo Panda Tai Shan - Washington, DC's Panda Cub

Washington, DC Zoo Welcomes Visitors to the Panda Habitat


National Zoo Panda Tai Shan - Washington, DC's Panda Cub
Photo © Smithsonian National Zoo
Tai Shan, the Panda Cub at the National Zoo, was returned to China on February 4, 2010 to enter the breeding program at Wolong's Bifengxia Panda Base in Ya'an, Sichuan. Giant panda cubs born at the National Zoo belong to China and are to enter the breeding program contributing to species conservation sometime after the cub turns two. The Zoo successfully negotiated two extensions with the China Wildlife Conservation Association, which allowed the Zoo to keep Tai Shan for two-and-a-half years beyond the original contract.

Since his birth July 9, 2005, Tai Shan, whose name means "peaceful mountain," has attracted millions of visitors worldwide to the National Zoo. The National Zoo is a recognized leader in the care and study of the giant panda. The Zoo has worked for decades to conserve this endangered species and intends to continue its commitment to giant panda research. About 1,600 giant pandas exist in the wild and nearly 300 live in zoos and research facilities in China and around the world.

Tian Tian and Mei Xiang arrived at the National Zoo in December 2000 and are on exhibit under a 10-year, $10 million loan agreement with China. The contract for Mei Xiang and Tai Shan's father, Tian Tian has expired and the National Zoo successfully negotiated a five year extension.

Photo Galleries
  • Photos of Tai Shan as a Cub
  • Photos of the Adult Pandas

    The Giant Pandas' Habitat

    The Fujifilm Giant Panda Habitat opened as part of the National Zoo's Asia Trail on October 17, 2006 adding more than 12,000 square feet to the Pandas' outdoor exhibit and additions to the indoor exhibit providing more visitor viewing space and informational exhibits.

    The outdoor exhibit was designed to recreate the Pandas' natural habitat including rock and tree structures for climbing; grottoes, pools, and streams for keeping cool; and shrubs and trees, including weeping willows, corktrees, maples, and several species of bamboo. Visitors can view the Pandas from two levels and can get much closer to them than ever before. The Giant Panda Experience Zone enables visitors to get up close to examine the pandas, with only a glass barrier between them.

    At the Plaza's Decision Stations, you can learn more about efforts to save pandas, see a topographic map of the mountains of central China, and experience multimedia displays of photos, video, and audio exploring the life of the Giant Pandas.

    See a selection of panda toys and books

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