|Born||August 21, 1999|
San Diego Zoo, California
Hua Mei (simplified Chinese :华美; traditional Chinese :華美; intended meaning: "China/USA") (born August 21, 1999) 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.
Hua Mei is the elder half-sister to five other cubs born to Bai Yun: Mei Sheng, Su Lin, Zhen Zhen, Yun Zi and Xiao Liwu. These cubs' father is Gao Gao.
In February 2004, upon reaching adulthood, Hua Mei was relocated to the Wolong Reserve in Sichuan Province, China, where she is reportedly doing very well. By the end of 2007, she has given birth to 3 sets of twins: male twins Tuan Tuan and Mei Ling on September 1, 2004, male/female twins Wei Wei and Ting Ting on August 29, 2005, and another set of male twins, Hua Long and Hua Ao, on 16 July 2007.
After the 2008 Sichuan earthquake damaged much of the giant panda facility in Wolong, Hua Mei was relocated to the Bifengxia Panda Base in Ya'an. In July 2009, Hua Mei gave birth to a single female cub named Hao Hao.
Hua Mei delivered her eighth cub, a male named Yang Hu in September 2010. Then she gave birth to her ninth cub, a female named Jia Jia in August 2012 and a tenth cub, a male, in July 2013.
In July 2018, she gave birth to a set of male/female twins named Yi Yi and Jiu Jiu. In October 2019, she gave birth to a set of female twins named Meng Meng and Jin Du Du.
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 will 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.
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.
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 is a female giant panda who lives at the National Zoo in Washington D.C.
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 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.
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.
Gao Gao is a male giant panda formerly at the San Diego Zoo. He was returned to China in 2018. To date, he has fathered five giant pandas in captivity.
Mei Sheng is a male giant panda born at the San Diego Zoo. He is the second panda to be born at the zoo and is the first offspring of Bai Yun and Gao Gao. He is the half-brother of Hua Mei and the brother of Su Lin, Zhen Zhen, Yun Zi, and Xiao Liwu.
Zhen Zhen is a female giant panda born on August 3, 2007, to Bai Yun and Gao Gao at the San Diego Zoo. Her name means "Precious". She is Bai Yun's fourth cub, and Gao Gao's third. Zhen Zhen has one half sibling, Hua Mei, and four full siblings, Mei Sheng, Su Lin, Yun Zi, and Xiao Liwu. Like her full siblings, Zhen Zhen was conceived via natural mating.
Shi Shi, or "Rock", was a male giant panda who briefly stayed at the San Diego Zoo. He was the father of Hua Mei.
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.
Yang Yang is a male giant panda currently in captivity at Zoo Atlanta. He is the mate to Lun Lun and the father to Mei Lan, Xi Lan, Po, twins Mei Lun and Mei Huan and female twins, Ya Lun and Xi Lun.
Tuan Tuan and Yuan Yuan are two giant pandas that were sent by the People's Republic of China to Taiwan in 2008 as part of an exchange program. The exchange idea was first proposed in 2005, but the previous administration in Taiwan had refused to accept the pandas. After elections that resulted in a change of presidents in 2008, the Taiwanese government accepted the pandas, and they arrived on December 23, 2008. The two names were selected by a vote in the PRC and their combination, Tuan Yuan, means "reunion" in Chinese. The pandas are housed at Taipei Zoo and have been exhibited to the public since the 2009 Chinese New Year.
Yun Zi is a male giant panda born at the San Diego Zoo on August 5, 2009. His name is "Son of Cloud (Yun)" in Chinese.
Bifengxia Giant Panda Base is a giant panda research and breeding facility in Bifengxia Town, Ya'an, Sichuan, China. Since opening in 2004, it has become home to several more giant pandas. This includes the U.S.-born Hua Mei and Mei Sheng, who were relocated there after the May 12, 2008, Sichuan earthquake severely damaged the panda breeding center at the Wolong National Nature Reserve. Both facilities are managed by the China Conservation and Research Center for the Giant Panda.
Xiao Liwu is a male giant panda born at the San Diego Zoo on July 29, 2012.
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.
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 in Taiwan. 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.