Ling-Ling (Chinese :玲玲, 1969–92) and Hsing-Hsing (simplified Chinese :兴兴; traditional Chinese :興興, 1970–99) were two giant pandas given to the United States as gifts by the government of China following President Richard Nixon's visit in 1972. As a gift, the U.S. government sent China a pair of musk oxen.
The pandas had been captured in the wild in June and December 1971. They arrived at the National Zoo in Washington, D.C., on April 16, 1972, and were formally received several days later, on April 20, at a ceremony attended by First Lady Pat Nixon. While at the zoo, they attracted millions of visitors each year.
During their time at the National Zoo, the pair had five cubs, but none of them survived past a few days.
Ling-Ling died suddenly from heart failureon December 30, 1992, at which time she was the longest-lived giant panda in captivity outside China. Hsing-Hsing would go on to pass her record when he was euthanized by zookeepers on November 28, 1999 at the age of 28 due to kidney failure. Following Hsing-Hsing's death, the zoo received thousands of letters and cards from people across the country expressing sympathy.
The Panda House at the National Zoo remained empty for over a year until the arrival of Mei Xiang and Tian Tian from the Wolong Research and Conservation Center for the Giant Panda in December 2000.
The giant panda, also known as the panda bear or simply the panda, is a bear native to south central China. It is characterised by large, black patches around its eyes, over the ears, and across its round 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.
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".
The Beijing Zoo is a zoological park in Beijing, the capital of the China. Founded in 1906 during the late Qing dynasty, it is the oldest zoo in China and oldest public park in northern China. The zoo is also a center of zoological research that studies and breeds rare animals from various continents.
The Ueno Zoo is a 14.3-hectare (35-acre) zoo, managed by the Tokyo Metropolitan Government, and located in Taitō, Tokyo, Japan. It is Japan's oldest zoo, opening on March 20, 1882. It is a five-minute walk from the Park Exit of Ueno Station, with convenient access from Tokyo's public-transportation network. The Ueno Zoo Monorail, the first monorail in the country, connects the eastern and western parts of the grounds.
Panda diplomacy is the practice of sending giant pandas from China to other countries as a tool of diplomacy. While the practice has been recorded as far back as the Tang dynasty, when Empress Wu Zetian sent a pair of pandas to Emperor Tenmu of Japan in 685, the term only came into popular use during the Cold War.
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.
Chapultepec Zoo is a zoo located in Chapultepec Park; it is one of four zoos near Mexico City, and the best known Mexican zoo. It was founded July 6, 1923 by Mexican biologist Alfonso Luis Herrera using donations from private citizens and governmental funds from the Ministry of Agriculture and Development, and also with funds from the Society of Biological Studies.
Ling Ling, Ling-Ling, or Lingling may refer to:
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 the San Diego Zoo's Bai Yun.
Bai Yun is a female giant panda sheltered at the San Diego Zoo. Bai Yun was the first successful birth of a giant panda at the Wolong Giant Panda Research Center in China. She lived at the San Diego Zoo from September 1996 to May 2019, at which time she returned to China. 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 sixth cub in May, 2019, as the 23-year conservation loan of the pandas came to an end between China and San Diego Zoo Global.
Xin Xin is a female giant panda that lives in the Chapultepec Zoo in Mexico City. Xin Xin was conceived via artificial insemination and was born in the Zoo on 1 July 1990. Her mother is Tohui and her father is Chia Chia from the London Zoo . Xin Xin is one of only three giant pandas in the Americas outside the United States. She is the youngest of the Mexican pandas. Xin Xin can be visited for free during normal Zoo hours.
Ling Ling was a male Chinese-born giant panda who resided at the Ueno Zoo, the largest zoo in Tokyo, Japan. At the time of his death at the age of 22, Ling Ling was the only giant panda at the Ueno Zoo and the oldest panda in Japan. He served as an important symbol of the Ueno Zoo and of friendship between Japan and China. Ling Ling, who was given to Japan in 1992, was the only giant panda in the country who was directly owned by Japan. There are eight other giant pandas in Japan as of April 2008, but they are all on loan to Japan from China. Despite being a male panda, Ling Ling's name meant "darling little girl" in Chinese.
Chi Chi was a well-known female giant panda at London Zoo in England.
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.
Tian Tian is a female panda born on 24 August 2003 at the Beijing Zoo from mother Niu Niu and father Ying Ying, and currently resident at Edinburgh Zoo, Scotland. She arrived in Edinburgh in December 2011 together with a male panda named Yáng Guāng. Currently they are the only two pandas in the United Kingdom. They are on a 10-year loan from the Bifengxia Breeding Centre in China at a cost of £640,000 per year.
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. 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 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 is a male giant panda cub who was born at the National Zoo in Washington D.C. on 21 August 2020. The cub of Mei Xiang and Tian Tian, Xiao Qi Ji is a result of artificial insemination of Mei Xiang on March 22, 2020.