Giant panda Update Aug 19, 2014

The past year at the David M. Rubenstein Family Giant Panda Habitat has been a very special one. We've been able to watch Mei Xiang raise a cub from the first moments of her birth, when she was pink and had yet to open her eyes. Now Bao Bao is just over 40 pounds and ventures high into the trees in her yard every day, and is starting to eat solid foods. On Saturday, August 23, we'll celebrate Bao Bao's first birthday and the conservation success she symbolizes. She was one of 42 surviving cubs born last year, and she represents 42 years of research between Zoo and Chinese scientists.


Saturday, August 23 11 a.m. to 2 p.m.

Bao Bao and Mei Xiang will receive a specially made frozen cake at 11:30 a.m.

Keepers will give panda talks at 11 a.m. and 1:30 p.m.

Guests will enjoy complimentary dandan (dahn-dahn) noodles (a cold dish from Sichuan province where the China Conservation and Research Center in Wolong is located) on a first-come first-served basis.

Help us celebrate and tweet your birthday wishess for Bao Bao and spread the love of panda conservation using #BaoBaoBDay

Today, Bao Bao got an extra-special birthday present: She won the Smithsonian Summer Showdown! She was named "most iconic in the Smithsonian." After sweeping the science category, she was up against the Star Spangled Banner Flag, the Landsdowne portrait of George Washington, and the Woody Guthrie song "This Land is Your Land." All are worthy competitors, but none embody the spirit of the Smithsonian quite like Bao Bao. She is 100 percent Smithsonian-made and embodies the cutting-edge science that the Smithsonian does every day.

Also just in time for Bao Bao's birthday: the premiere webisode of the Smithsonian Channel's Wild Inside. The video chronicles Bao Bao's first year and provides a peek at life at the panda habitat. A few of Bao Bao's keepers also make an appearance in the video and talk about life with Bao Bao and panda conservation. Watch the webisode and share it with #BaoBaoBday!