Smithsonian National Zoological Park l Friends of the National Zoo



The Panda's Progress

A Tai Shan Time Line

Since his birth on July 9, 2005, Tai Shan has been a Smithsonian’s National Zoo superstar and a leading ambassador for giant panda conservation. Thousands of images of him lie in the Zoo’s photo archive. From those riches, we plucked this portfolio to chart the life of the giant panda who won Washington’s heart and wowed fans around the world.

July 18, 2005 | Wee and White
Roughly a week old, Tai Shan weighs just a few ounces. His hair is sparse and white.


July 26, 2005 | Familiar Features
By the end of July, Tai Shan has begun to look like a giant panda. His eyes are still closed.


August 12, 2005 | Baby Fat
Just over a month old, Tai Shan weighs three pounds.

(National Zoo Web Cam)


October 31, 2005 | Got Claws?
Cuddly though he may look, Tai Shan sports the sharp claws of a bear.


December 22, 2005 | Big Wide World
Five months old and 23 pounds, Tai Shan goes outdoors for the first time at the Fujifilm Giant Panda Habitat.

(Ann Batdorf/NZP)


February 12, 2006 | Snow!
Tai Shan romps with his mother, Mei Xiang, during his first foray into the snow.


July 9, 2006 | First Birthday
Mei Xiang watches as Tai Shan enjoys a celebratory treat. He now weighs 55 pounds.


January 22, 2007 | Growing Up
Tai Shan (top) looks almost adult yet still weighs less than a hundred pounds.

(Jessie Cohen/NZP)


July 9, 2007 | Second Birthday
About 150 pounds, Tai Shan ambles toward his birthday treat.


July 9, 2008 | Third Birthday
Nearly 200 pounds, Tai Shan now lives on his own, as he would in the wild.

(Mehgan Murphy/NZP)


July 9, 2009 | Fourth Birthday
Tai Shan celebrates his last birthday at the National Zoo with a giant “cake.”


February 4, 2010 | Farewell
Keepers give final treats to Tai Shan before he leaves the Zoo.


February 6, 2010 | Settling In
Tai Shan explores the quarantine habitat at Bifengxia Base in Sichuan, China—his new home.

(Mehgan Murphy/NZP)

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Smithsonian Zoogoer 39(1) 2010. Copyright 2010 Friends of the National Zoo. All rights reserved.