Giant pandas around the world

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As of 2019, there are 27 zoos in 21 countries outside of mainland China (Australia, Austria, Belgium, Canada, Denmark, Finland, France, Germany, Qatar, Indonesia, Japan, Malaysia, Mexico, the Netherlands, Scotland, Singapore, South Korea, Spain, Russia, Taiwan, Thailand, and United States) that have giant pandas. These zoos have contracts with China to house these pandas for a few years. An exception are the three 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. [1] [2]




In Berlin Zoo, Berlin, Bao Bao (1978–2012) was one of the first two giant pandas in Germany and became – for a time – the oldest known panda in zoos. He was together with the female panda Tjen Tjen (who died in 1984) given to West Germany by China in 1980. Between 1991 and 1993 Bao Bao was loaned to London Zoo. In 1995, back in his Berlin home, another female named Yan Yan was sent on loan from China in an attempt to mate Bao Bao. In spite of several artificial insemination experiments there were no offspring. Yan Yan died in 2007. In summer 2017, giant pandas returned to Berlin, when Jiao Quing and Meng Meng arrived on breeding loan from China. In September 2019, Meng Meng gave birth to twin panda cubs.


ZooParc de Beauval, Saint-Aignan, Loir-et-Cher, France – home to Huan Huan (F) and Yuan Zi (M) since 15 January 2012. [3] She gave birth to two cubs in 2017 but only one survived, Yuan Meng. [4] She also gave birth to two other cubs in 2021 : Petite Neige and Fleur de Coton. Both of them can be seen through a live camera in the zoo. [5]


Belgian zoo Pairi Daiza hosts five giant pandas; Hao Hao and Xing Hui since April 2014. Tian Bao was born in Pairi Daiza in 2016; he is the baby of Hao Hao and Xing Hui. [6] In 2019, Hao Hao gave birth to a male and a female. [7]


Tian Tian and Yang Guang are the pandas that are housed in Edinburgh Zoo in the UK. They live in 275,000 pounds suites and have organic food flown in from the Continent. They are on loan from China and will return in 2023. [8] “Tian Tian and Yang Guang have been put in enclosures designed by animal psychologists, which come complete with dens, private pools, a viewing platform and a room where the pandas will be given health check-ups.” In their new habitats, each panda has a climbing frame that will enable them to see each other over the tops of their enclosures. The design of the habitat is to resemble their natural habitat in the wild. They have caves to sleep in and rocks where they can lie.[ citation needed ]


The former elephant enclosure became the Panda House at the Tiergarten Schönbrunn Zoo with a well-structured grounds (1015 m2) adapted. These pandas are also fed a nutritious diet, and provided with proactive medical care and a dedicated nurse team - one of the most important aspects of the panda attitude. Air-conditioning and a fog machine were installed in their habitat to keep the pandas safe and happy on hot summer days. [9]


Finnish Ähtäri Zoo also hosts two giant pandas named Lumi (F) and Pyry (M). They arrived in Finland 18 January 2018 and opened for public 17 February, after one month of quarantine. They were named after the snowstorm that prevailed at the time they arrived in Finland. Lumi means snow in Finnish, while Pyry is the equivalent of snowfall. [10]


The Zoo Aquarium, in Madrid (Spain) is the home of Bing Xing (M) and Hua Zuiba (F) since 2007. They gave birth to twin cubs on 7 September 2010. [11] Another cub, Xing Bao (F), was born in 2013 and in September 2016 Chulina (F). [12] The zoo was also the site of the first giant panda birth in Europe, Chulin (M) in 1982 whose parents, Shao Shao (F) and Chang Chang (M), arrived in 1978. Chulin (M, 1982) was the first panda to be born in captivity in the western hemisphere by artificial insemination [13] [14]


On 4 April 2019 Copenhagen Zoo received two pandas, Xing Er, and Mao Sun. The pandas live in a brand new enclosure designed by Bjarke Ingels Group and civil engineer company MOE.


The Dutch Zoo Ouwehands Dierenpark houses two giant pandas named Xing Ya and Wu Wen. They live in a 3,400 meter2 Chinese-style enclosure. [15] Wu Wen gave birth to a cub on 1 May 2020. [16]


Adelaide Zoo in Australia houses two pandas, Wang Wang and Funi, who were earlier loaned from China. They were loaned to Australia in 2009. They live together as male and female but also live with six red pandas. Space was created to provide comfort for the pandas but do not have the exhibit so big that the panda species would not be able to interact. In each inside room, there is “deep litter” which is a type of mulch to provide a clean inside for the pandas to live in. [17] [18]

The landscape of the exhibit was designed to mirror the native home of the two pandas, China. The giant panda exhibit is over 3,000 square meters and gives the pandas the options such as moving outside to lie on cool rocks or to bath in waterfalls. The two pandas that the Adelaide Zoo in Australia holds also have the option of staying inside in either air-conditioned rooms or in more natural caves to provide comfort for the pandas. The exhibit also has new 24-hour closed-circuit television to observe the pandas and how they interact with one another as well as other species in the exhibit. There is also a public viewing terrace under a bamboo canopy to accommodate the crowds but also to manage the privacy of the pandas. The zoo has specialist keepers just for the pandas as well as vets on hand at the zoo to make sure the pandas are well taken care of and protected. [19]


Mainland China

In Asian zoos, a diet of mostly gruel and bread is fed to pandas. In an experiment on how nutritious the pandas' diet in Chinese zoos is, two 5 day feeding trials were conducted. The pandas were both different age. The younger panda ate more bamboo than the older panda did. Gruel, however, can cause problems for the panda’s digestive system. The diets of pandas in captivity do not consist of enough bamboo, which can be harmful to their wellbeing. [20]

In a study done on pandas in China to test for brominated flame retardants, polychlorinated biphenyls, and organochloride pesticides in the giant panda’s tissues, results stated that chemicals such as PCB and PBDE were found in the panda’s tissues. Factors that contribute to the chemicals found in the tissues of pandas are diet and inhalation of polluted air. In February 2014, at China’s Zhengzhou Zoo, a 7-year-old female panda named Jin Yi died. Torture allegations were denied by Zoo officials. [21]


The largest panda exhibit built in Southeast Asia, this exhibit spans 1,500m2. Simulating the bears’ natural habitat with lush plantings, boulders, and water features, the state-of-the-art biodome is also temperature- and humidity-controlled to ensure the pandas’ comfort. River Safari has two pandas named Kai Kai and Jia Jia on a 10 year loan. On 14 August 2021, Jia Jia successfully gave birth to a panda cub named Le Le.


Tuan Tuan and Yuan Yuan were sent by mainland China to Taiwan in 2008 as part of an exchange program. The couple has two cubs, Yuan Zai, born in 2013, and Yuan Bao, born in 2020. The two pandas were given to Taiwan rather than leased, thus them and their offspring are Taiwanese-owned. Tuan Tuan died in 2022. [22]

South Korea

Ai Bao (lovely treasure) and Le Bao (pleasant treasure) were sent by President Xi Jinping to South Korea in 2016 as a state gift. Ai Bao naturally conceived and gave birth to Fu Bao (happy treasure) on July 20, 2020. Fubao is the first panda to be born in Korea. The family currently resides in Everland, a popular theme park in Korea. Fu Bao received global attention when a video of her went viral on Youtube.


Ri Ri and Shin Shin joined Japan’s oldest zoo, Ueno Zoo, in 2011. In 2012, they had a baby panda who did not survive long. But in 2016, Shin Shin gave birth to Xiang Xiang. After nearly four years, the couple were found mating again, and in 2021 Shin Shin delivered twins, Xiao Xiao and Ray Ray.


Liang Liang and Xing Xing were sent to Zoo Negara, Malaysia on 21 May 2014 under the Giant Panda International Conservation Cooperation Agreement Programme. The agreement requires all giant panda cubs to be returned to China once they reach between 24 months and four years old. As of 2021, three panda cubs have been born in Zoo Negara - Nuan Nuan (born 18 August 2015), Yi Yi (born 14 January 2018) and Sheng Yi (born 31 May 2021). [23]


Cai Tao and Hu Chun were introduced to Taman Safari Indonesia in September 2017. Cai Tao and Hu Chun were born at the Bifengxia Panda Base in Bifengxia, Ya'an, Sichuan, China. The arrival process of Cai Tao and Hu Chun had been carried out for a long time, marked by the construction of the "Panda Palace" which would later become their home in Taman Safari. Cai Tao and Hu Chun have traveled more than 4,400 kilometers, taking off from Shuangliu International Airport in Chengdu, China on September 28, 2017, traveling five and a half hours until arriving at Soekarno–Hatta International Airport. After undergoing an adjustment period of approximately two months, the two of them finally began to be displayed in November 2017. [24]

North America

United States

Zoo Atlanta has several giant pandas being loaned from China. The loan fee that the zoo pays goes towards the conservation of giant pandas. The zoo itself has given over ten million dollars for giant panda conservation. Their projects include infrastructure, research, and management. [25]

In April 2003, the Memphis Zoo became one of only four U.S. zoos to exhibit the giant panda. One male and one female giant panda ("Ya Ya" and "Le Le") share their 3-acre (1.2 ha) home with several other species native to China, in the first Memphis Zoo exhibit to be built as a zoogeographical exhibit. The buildings, plant life and even the sounds of China are represented in this $16 million exhibit.

At the Smithsonian National Zoological Park, zookeepers provide various forms of enrichment to their giant pandas and switch up their routine. They provide honey, apples, and leaf-eater biscuits inside the panda toys. The toys are usually made of plastic, rubber, and bamboo to ensure that the pandas don’t break the toys too easily. Giant Pandas are allowed to play with water bottles, burlap bags, blankets, boxes, and fruitsicles- frozen fruit juice and water with cut-up fruit inside. The exhibit itself includes a room with a waterfall and rocky outcrop, a den, and several sustainable design features. There are green roofs, a solar hot water system, and natural material for the visitor paths. Not only is the exhibit sustainable, but it also creates an environment that allows for the pandas to stay at a cool temperature when it is hot outside while providing areas for privacy. Short trees, shrubs, pools, and streams, allow them to stay comfortable at all times. [26] The National Zoo has had 4 cubs: Tai Shan, Bao Bao and Bei Bei, who all live in China (Bei Bei was sent to China on November 19, 2019. [27] ) The 4th, born August 21, 2020 is named Xiao Qi Ji (Mandarin Chinese for "Little Miracle") born when his mother, Mei Xiang was 22 - the oldest female panda in North America to give birth.

The San Diego Zoo had Giant Pandas on-loan from China from 1996-2019 as part of the breeding program that successfully boosted the Giant Panda from "endangered" to "vulnerable." [28] The agreement for the San Diego Zoo to house the breeding pair of Bai Yun and Xiao Liwu ended in 2019, and the pandas have been set to be returned on April 27. The San Diego Zoo has stated that it will try to negotiate with the Chinese government to renew the partnership.


The Chapultepec Zoo (Zoológico de Chapultepec) is one of the four zoos of Mexico City, and it is especially famous for its success in giant panda breeding; in 1980 Chapultepec Zoo became the first institution outside of China to successfully breed the previously endangered species in captivity. The first bear born, Xeng-Li, lived only eight days after its August 10 birth but was accidentally smothered by its mother, Yin-Yin. [29]

In total there have been eight live births at the zoo. The most famous panda to have lived at the zoo is Tohui (1981-1993). [30] As of November 2019, the two female giant pandas who live at the zoo, Shuan Shuan (b. 1988) and Xin Xin (b. 1990), are the oldest Giant Pandas in captivity. [31]

The pandas at Chapultepec are special in that China does not have ownership. The original pair was given to Mexico and subsequent pandas have all been born prior to the change in policy from gifting to loaning. Zoo officials have also come to an agreement with China that any new offspring born at Chapultepec will belong to China. However, these pandas will be allowed to stay at the zoo (in contrast to other institutions, where offspring have to be returned to China after reaching five years of age). [30]


Giant pandas Jia Yueyue and Jia Panpan were the first pandas to be born in Canada.[ citation needed ] They were relocated to China in 2020 due to a bamboo shortage caused by supply chain issues. [32]

See also

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<span class="mw-page-title-main">Giant panda</span> 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.

<span class="mw-page-title-main">National Zoological Park (United States)</span> Zoo in Washington, D.C., and Front Royal, Virginia

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<span class="mw-page-title-main">Toronto Zoo</span> Largest zoo in Canada

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<span class="mw-page-title-main">Berlin Zoo</span> Zoo in Berlin, Germany

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<span class="mw-page-title-main">Tai Shan (giant panda)</span>

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<span class="mw-page-title-main">Chapultepec Zoo</span> Zoo in Chapultepec, Mexico

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<span class="mw-page-title-main">Hua Mei</span>

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.

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<span class="mw-page-title-main">Mei Xiang</span> Female giant panda

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

<span class="mw-page-title-main">Tian Tian (male giant panda)</span> Male giant panda

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<span class="mw-page-title-main">Bai Yun</span>

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<span class="mw-page-title-main">Bao Bao</span> Female giant panda (born 2013)

Bao Bao is a female giant panda cub who was born at the National Zoo in Washington D.C. 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. She is the sister of Tai Shan, Bei Bei and Xiao Qi Ji.

<span class="mw-page-title-main">Bei Bei</span> Giant panda at the US National Zoo

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Er Shun is a female giant panda, born at the Chongqing Zoo.

Jia Yueyue (加悅悅) and Jia Panpan (加盼盼) are twin giant pandas born at the Toronto Zoo on October 13, 2015, to mother, Er Shun. They were the first giant pandas to be born in Canada, and only the second giant panda twins to survive the neonatal period in North America. Their birth was the result of one of two artificial insemination procedures overnight from May 13 to May 14, 2015. The pandas went on public exhibit at the zoo on March 12, 2016. The last day that the giant pandas were viewable at the Toronto Zoo was March 18, 2018. The two pandas have since left Canada and now reside at the Chengdu Research Base of Giant Panda Breeding.

<span class="mw-page-title-main">Xiao Qi Ji</span> 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.

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.

Meng Yuan, directly translated as Fulfilled Dream, nicknamed Paule, is a male giant panda born on August 31, 2019, in the Berlin Zoo in Germany. Its parents are Sichuan-born Jiao Qing and Meng Meng. They are on lease from China for a provisional period of 15 years.


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