He Helped Create the First Panda Team

Submitted by Michelle C. of Virginia

"My father, Larry Collins, was the first head keeper in charge of Ling Ling and Hsing-Hsing. He helped create the first panda team and learned all he could about giant pandas. He wrote a book about them and him and his keepers were drawn into a children's storybook about them. By the time I was born he was working as head mammalogist at the Conservation Center in Front Royal, Virginia. But I still grew up leaning a lot about the giant pandas. Now, I'm a teacher who loves to pass on my crazy knowledge of animals."

Image courtesy of Michelle C.

The Panda Memories Project

In September 2023, the Zoo invited members of the public to share their favorite moments with Tian Tian, Mei Xiang, Xiao Qi Ji and the rest of the pandas that have called Washington D.C., home. Here are their stories.