Mei Xiang and Tian Tian are the National Zoo's second pair of giant pandas. Both were born at the China Research and Conservation Center for the Giant Panda in Wolong, Sichuan Province. They are together for most of the day. It can be hard to tell the adult giant pandas apart, but Mei Xiang and Tian Tian do have a few differences, which are described below.
Tian Tian (t-YEN t-YEN), the male, was born on August 27, 1997. His name means "more and more." Tian Tian has black "knee socks." The black band across his shoulders narrows in the middle. His eye patches are shaped like kidney beans, and he has two black dots across the bridge of his nose. He weighs about 264 pounds.
Mei Xiang (may-SHONG), the female, was born on July 22, 1998. Her name means "beautiful fragrance." She has black hip-high "stockings" extending up her hind legs, and the black band across her shoulders is wider in the middle than Tian's. Her eye patches are oval, and a pale black band runs across the bridge of her nose. She weighs about 233 pounds.
Tai Shan, Mei Xiang and Tian Tian's first offspring, left the Zoo on February 4, 2010.
Tai Shan (tie-SHON) was born early in the morning on July 9, 2005. At his first exam on August 2, we learned that the cub is a boy. He weighed 1.82 pounds and had a total body length of 12 inches. In December 2009, he weighed 168 pounds. See how he's grown.
More than 200,000 votes were cast to name the cub. The winning name, Tai Shan ("peaceful mountain"), was given to the cub when he was 100 days old, on October 17. See the photo gallery. See a slideshow.