This week, we saw the sassy side of our almost 4-month-old giant panda cub, Xiao Qi JI. Around 6:30 a.m. Dec. 16, he and his mother, Mei Xiang, were spending time in their den. While Xiao Qi Ji rested on the floor, Mei Xiang rearranged her nest and played with some pieces of bamboo. This went on for several minutes, when suddenly our little cub let out a loud and feisty bark!
Mei Xiang jumped and was a bit startled by her son’s outburst. It seemed that the noise from her rustling, or perhaps the bamboo moving around him, disturbed his sleep. We have heard him vocalize in this manner before. When our giant panda team enters the keeper side of the den to remove the large pieces of bamboo that Mei Xiang brought in overnight, inevitably the leaves rustle. Xiao Qi Ji has no qualms about expressing his displeasure with this noise, but neither did his older siblings Tai Shan, Bao Bao and Bei Bei when they were this age. After a few minutes of nest building and eating, Mei Xiang picked up Xiao Qi Ji and tended to him.