Bao Bao

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Bao Bao
Bao Bao Tree.jpg
Bao Bao climbing a tree in April 2014.
Species Giant panda
SexFemale
Born (2013-08-23) August 23, 2013 (age 9)
National Zoological Park, Washington, D.C. United States
Residence Wolong National Nature Reserve
Parent(s) Mei Xiang, Tian Tian
OffspringDou Ban
Named afterTreasure

Bao Bao (Chinese :宝宝; pinyin :Bǎobǎo, meaning "treasure"; colloquially meaning "baby") is a female giant panda cub who was born at the National Zoo in Washington D.C. [1] She lived at the Zoo for four years until February 2017. She is currently located at the China Conservation and Research Center for the Giant Panda in Sichuan Province. [2] She is the sister of Tai Shan, Bei Bei and Xiao Qi Ji.

Contents

Life

Bao Bao was born on August 23, 2013, at 5:30 PM, together with a twin that was stillborn the day after she was born, at the National Zoo in Washington D.C. The cub of Mei Xiang and Tian Tian, Bao Bao is a result of artificial insemination of Mei Xiang on March 23, 2013.

Giant pandas are listed as vulnerable species, and are protected in part by conservation efforts at reservations and in zoos such as the Smithsonian National Zoo in Washington D.C. Bao Bao is one of only several hundred giant pandas alive today in captivity, among fewer than 2,000 giant pandas in the world, and one the first surviving panda cub born at the National Zoo since Tai Shan in 2005. [3]

In 2013, there were an unusually high number of giant panda cub births in zoos around the world. In addition to Bao Bao, other giant panda cubs were born in 2013 include: Yuan Zai in Taiwan, twin cubs Mei Lun and Mei Huan at Zoo Atlanta, Fu Bao at Zoo Vienna and Xing Bao at Zoo Madrid.

Naming ceremony and debut

Bao Bao was named 100 days after her birth. [4] Her name was chosen by voters through the Smithsonian's website. [5] Five names were originally submitted by various dignitaries and groups, including Chinese Ambassador Cui Tiankai, U.S. Ambassador to China Gary Locke, panda keepers at the National Zoo, the fundraising group Friends of the National Zoo and the China Conservation and Research Center for the Giant Panda. The chosen name was submitted by Friends of the National Zoo. The five choices for names were Bao Bao (宝宝), Ling Hua (玲花), Long Yun (龙韵), Mulan (木兰), and Zhen Bao (珍宝). [6]

Michelle Obama, First Lady of the United States, and Peng Liyuan, First Lady of China, each sent special video messages that were played during the naming ceremony. [7] Bao Bao's birth, naming ceremony, and travel to China in 2017 are part of China's panda diplomacy.

Bao Bao's public debut at the National Zoo was on January 18, 2014. [8]

Development

By August 19, 2014, Bao Bao could stand on her hind legs when keepers asked, and could recognize her name when it is called by familiar voices. She did not yet consistently respond as an adult giant panda would, even to her mother Mei's unique bleat. More often, she moved inside when called instead of remaining in her favorite trees, napping or resting. She had learned to follow Mei outside most days, and was rarely carried out any more. Bao Bao was being trained in targeting behaviors; she was touching her nose to a target at about five months. By August, she could follow one partway inside from the outdoor yard. She also started raiding Mei's bamboo supply and sampling it, another major milestone. Fruitsicles were her preferred reward over cooked sweet potato, corn syrup, and diluted apple juice. [9]

Bao Bao at the National Zoo in January 2016. Bao Bao.jpg
Bao Bao at the National Zoo in January 2016.

Bao Bao celebrated her first birthday on August 23, 2014, with a giant birthday cake made of frozen fruits and vegetables. Crowds of visitors gathered at the zoo to celebrate her birthday. [10]

On the afternoon of December 23, 2014, Bao Bao climbed a tree after touching a "hot wire". Responding to inquiries from concerned members of the public, the zoo stated that this was a natural reaction to the "hot wire", and that Bao Bao was safe and comfortable in the tree. After over 24 hours in the tree, Bao Bao safely climbed down on her own, late on December 24. [11] [12]

A YouTube video was released by the National Zoo on Tuesday, January 6, 2015, of Bao Bao's first encounter with snow. [13]

On Thursday, February 19, 2015, in an online news release by her keepers at the National Zoo's David M. Rubenstein Family Giant Panda Habitat and Panda House, found on the National Zoo's website in the "Meet Our Animals" section, on the Giant Panda page news updates, it was stated that Bao Bao is about 18 months- a year and a half- old, another major milestone. The statement said, around this time, "... they stop nursing and start living separately from their mothers. Bao Bao started the weaning process naturally a few months ago, and now she’s eating significantly more bamboo and solid foods. She also eats separately from Mei Xiang and spends about 6 hours separated from her each day. They will spend increasingly more time apart until Bao Bao is living on her own. Bao Bao has been doing well during the time she spends apart from Mei. Our panda team expects that the process will be complete in early March. Last month our panda team and veterinarians performed an ultrasound along with human cardiologist Dr. Rosenthal on Mei Xiang (*Bao Bao's mother) as part of a routine checkup. She is in great health. Mei usually participates in ultrasounds when the panda team is monitoring her for possible pregnancies..." The rest of the release is viewable through this link. [14]

The separation was completed in early March 2015, as planned, and went well. [15]

Bao Bao celebrated her second birthday on August 23, 2015, one day after her mother Mei Xiang gave birth to twin pandas on August 22, 2015. Mei Xiang gave birth to twin males on August 22, 2015 at 5:35 pm and 10:07 pm. However, only one of the cubs, Bei Bei, survived.

Bao Bao remained at the National Zoo until February 21, 2017, when she was sent to China; She is currently located at the Wolong National Nature Reserve. [2] [16]

Motherhood

Bao Bao gave birth to a female giant panda cub named Dou Ban (nicknamed Bao Bao Zai by nannies before official naming) on July 29, 2020 at the Wolong National Nature Reserve Shenshuping Panda Center (Sichuan Province, China).

A year later, Bao Bao gave birth to twin males on August 4, 2021. One of the male twins is with Bao Bao, and the other male twin is with a surrogate Mother.

There is information about Bao Bao and Her Cubs, and the other Members of Her Family on the Smithsonian's National Zoo & Conservation Biology Institute website. https://nationalzoo.si.edu/animals/celebrating-50-years-giant-pandas

See also

Related Research Articles

Giant panda Species of bear

The giant panda, also known as the panda bear, is a bear species endemic to China. It is characterised by its bold black-and-white coat and rotund body. The name "giant panda" is sometimes used to distinguish it from the red panda, a neighboring musteloid. Though it belongs to the order Carnivora, the giant panda is a folivore, with bamboo shoots and leaves making up more than 99% of its diet. Giant pandas in the wild occasionally eat other grasses, wild tubers, or even meat in the form of birds, rodents, or carrion. In captivity, they may receive honey, eggs, fish, yams, shrub leaves, oranges, or bananas along with specially prepared food.

National Zoological Park (United States) Zoo in Washington, D.C., and Front Royal, Virginia

The National Zoological Park, commonly known as the National Zoo, is one of the oldest zoos in the United States. It is part of the Smithsonian Institution and does not charge admission. Founded in 1889, its mission is to "provide engaging experiences with animals and create and share knowledge to save wildlife and habitats".

Zoo Atlanta Zoo in Georgia, US

Zoo Atlanta is an Association of Zoos and Aquariums (AZA) accredited zoological park in Atlanta, Georgia. The current president and CEO of Zoo Atlanta is Raymond B. King.

Tai Shan (giant panda)

Tai Shan is a giant panda born at the National Zoo in Washington D.C. on July 9, 2005. He is the first panda cub born at the National Zoo to survive for more than a few days. He is the oldest brother of Bao Bao, Bei Bei and Xiao Qi Ji.

Hua Mei

Hua Mei is a female giant panda. She is the first giant panda cub to survive to adulthood in the United States. She was born to Bai Yun (mother) and Shi Shi (father) at the San Diego Zoo. Millions of people around the world watched Hua Mei grow up via the zoo's Panda Cam.

Su Lin (giant panda, born 2005)

Su Lin is a female giant panda born at the San Diego Zoo on August 2, 2005. Her name — one of five options in an online poll — means "a little bit of something very cute" in Chinese.

Mei Xiang Female giant panda

Mei Xiang is a female giant panda who lives at the National Zoo in Washington D.C.

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Tian Tian (male giant panda) Male giant panda

Tian Tian is a 275-pound male giant panda at the National Zoo in Washington D.C. The panda was born on August 27, 1997, at the China Conservation and Research Center for the Giant Panda at the Wolong National Nature Reserve in Sichuan Province, to Yong Ba (mother) and Pan Pan (father). Tian Tian is the half-brother of Bai Yun, formerly at the San Diego Zoo.

Lun Lun

Lun Lun is a female giant panda at Zoo Atlanta in Atlanta, Georgia. The panda, now 242 pounds (110 kg), was born at the Chengdu Research Base of Giant Panda Breeding in China on August 25, 1997. Her original name, Hua Hua, was changed to Lun Lun by her sponsor, the Taiwanese rock star Su Huilun.

Mei Lan

Mei Lan is a male giant panda. He was born at Zoo Atlanta in Atlanta, Georgia on September 6, 2006, after his mother's, Lun Lun, record-setting 35-hour labor. Originally identified by zoo staffers as female, Mei Lan was determined to be male by staff in China at the Chengdu Research Base of Panda Breeding. He is the first offspring of Lun Lun and Yang Yang, who are also the parents of Xi Lan, Po, and two pairs of twins, namely Mei Lun and Mei Huan, and Ya Lun and Xi Lun. Mei Lan was relocated to Chengdu, China on February 4, 2010.

Bai Yun

Bai Yun was the first female giant panda who was born at the Wolong Giant Panda Research Center in China. From September 1996 she lived at the San Diego Zoo for more than 20 years, until being returned to China in May 2019. Bai Yun gave birth to her sixth cub in 2012 since arriving at the San Diego Zoo, considered the most surviving pandas born at a breeding facility outside of native China. Bai Yun returned to China with her last-born as the 23-year conservation loan of the pandas came to an end between China and San Diego Zoo Global.

Chengdu Research Base of Giant Panda Breeding

Chengdu Research Base of Giant Panda Breeding, or simply Chengdu Panda Base, is a non-profit research and breeding facility for giant pandas and other rare animals. It is located in Chengdu, Sichuan, China.

Xi Lan is a male giant panda cub currently residing in Chengdu, China at the research Base. He is the son and second offspring of Lun Lun and Yang Yang. He is the brother of Mei Lan, who was born at Zoo Atlanta in 2006; Po, born at Zoo Atlanta on November 3, 2010; twins Mei Lun and Mei Huan, born at Zoo Atlanta on July 15, 2013; and twins Ya Lun and Xi Lun, born at Zoo Atlanta on September 3, 2016.

As of 2019, there are 26 zoos in 20 countries outside of mainland China that have giant pandas. These zoos have contracts with China to house these pandas for a few years. An exception are the four pandas held at Taipei Zoo, which are owned by the Taiwanese government. Giant pandas are on the IUCN Red List so part of the reason these contracts exist between China and international zoos is to try to help the species reproduce before they are brought back to their native land. For this reason, pandas are treated very well.

Bei Bei Giant panda at the US National Zoo

Bei Bei is a male giant panda cub who was born and lived at the National Zoo in Washington, D.C., in the United States. He was part of US-China relations panda diplomacy, and was sent to the People's Republic of China on November 19, 2019 at the age of 4. He is currently at the Ya’an Bifengxia Base of the Giant Panda Conservation and Research Center in southwest Sichuan province. He is the brother of Tai Shan, Bao Bao, and Xiao Qi Ji.

Xiao Qi Ji Panda cub born at National Zoo, Washington, D.C.

Xiao Qi Ji is a male giant panda cub who was born at the National Zoo in Washington, D.C. on 21 August 2020. The fourth surviving cub of Mei Xiang and Tian Tian, Xiao Qi Ji is a result of an artificial insemination of Mei Xiang on March 22, 2020. Xiao Qi Ji is the youngest brother of Tai Shan, Bao Bao and Bei Bei.

Shin Shin is a female giant panda born in 2006 through natural mating in China and settled in Tokyo's Ueno Zoo. She was brought from China and gave birth to a cub, Xiang Xiang, with her mate Ri Ri.

Meng Xiang nicknamed Pit, is a male giant panda born on August 31, 2019, in the Berlin Zoo in Germany. His father is Jiao Qing and mother is Meng Meng, both from Sichuan, China. They arrived in Berlin on the occasion of the 75th anniversary of diplomatic relations between China and Germany in 2017.

References

  1. Almasy, Steve. "Little Bao Bao wows them at National Zoo". CNN. Retrieved 17 April 2014.
  2. 1 2 Cloherty, Megan (21 February 2017). "Bao Bao's travel itinerary to China". WTOP. Retrieved 21 February 2017.
  3. Swaisgood, R. "Ailuropoda melanoleuca". The IUCN Red List of Threatened Species 2016. Retrieved 23 February 2017.
  4. "Panda cub at National Zoo now has a name: Bao Bao". The Washington Post . 1 December 2013. Retrieved 5 January 2014.
  5. "Name that panda: National Zoo asks public to vote on panda name". CBS News . 6 November 2013. Retrieved 9 August 2019.
  6. "National Zoo names 100-day-old panda cub Bao Bao". Washington Examiner . 1 December 2013. Retrieved 9 August 2019.
  7. Mimica, Mila. "Giant Panda Cub's Name Is Bao Bao | NBC4 Washington". Nbcwashington.com. Retrieved 2017-02-22.
  8. "Bao Bao's public debut". The Washington Post. 3 January 2014. Retrieved 5 January 2014.
  9. "Recent Giant Panda Updates - National Zoo". Archived from the original on 2014-07-05. Retrieved 2014-08-14.
  10. Chen, Karen (2014-08-23). "As Bao Bao's turns 1, panda fans flock to National Zoo to celebrate with her". The Washington Post. Retrieved 2017-02-22.
  11. Post by Smithsonian's National Zoo. "Bao Bao Back With Mom After Scary 24 Hours in a Tree | NBC4 Washington". Nbcwashington.com. Retrieved 2017-02-22.{{cite web}}: CS1 maint: multiple names: authors list (link)
  12. "DC's panda cub Bao Bao back down from tree". WTOP. 2014-12-25. Retrieved 2017-02-22.
  13. "Bao Bao's First Snow Day!". YouTube. Retrieved 2017-02-22.
  14. "Animals | Smithsonian's National Zoo". Nationalzoo.si.edu. 2017-02-16. Retrieved 2017-02-22.
  15. "Giant panda | Smithsonian's National Zoo". Nationalzoo.si.edu. Retrieved 2017-02-22.
  16. Ruane, Michael E. (6 February 2017). "Giant panda Bao Bao will leave National Zoo on Feb. 21". The Washington Post. Retrieved 9 February 2017.