Such Incredible Memories

Submitted by Andie H. of Cincinnati, Ohio

"The first time I saw pandas was back in 2004 when I was 11 years old and then I got to see them in 2022 at 29 at the Smithsonian. Couldn’t believe the same pandas were there too! I never would have thought I’d be returning here one day being a zookeeper, having traveled to China to volunteer at the Bifengxia panda base, and to now living my dream job back when my parents took me here as a kid. Maybe they knew. They definitely knew how excited and happy I was to be there, my love of pandas then and would be so proud of where I am today. Pandas will always bring me fond memories of my late parents, and I’m thankful they took me to D.C. all those years ago to see them. One of the many reasons I love my job, and zoos: they create such incredible memories."

Image courtesy of Andie H.

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.