On April 5, the D.C. Council passed a Ceremonial Resolution declaring April 2022, “Giant Panda Month” in recognition and celebration of the 50th anniversary of the Smithsonian’s National Zoo and Conservation Biology Institute’s giant panda conservation program and the arrival of the first pair of giant pandas to the Zoo in April 1972, a seminal moment for the Smithsonian and for Washington, D.C. The Ceremonial Resolution was introduced by Councilmember Mary Cheh.
A CEREMONIAL RESOLUTION IN THE COUNCIL OF THE DISTRICT OF COLUMBIA
To recognize and celebrate the 50th anniversary of the Smithsonian’s National Zoo and Conservation Biology Institute’s (SNZCBI) giant panda conservation program and the arrival of the first pair of giant pandas to the Zoo in April 1972, a seminal moment for the Smithsonian and for Washington, D.C.
WHEREAS, SNZCBI leads the Smithsonian Institution’s global effort to save species, better understand ecosystems and train future generations of conservationists;
WHEREAS, since April 1972, SNZCBI animal care staff and scientists have studied giant panda biology, behavior, breeding, reproduction, and disease, led ecology studies in giant pandas’ native habitat, and educated the public about the species and its conservation;
WHEREAS, SNZCBI’s breeding and veterinary research provides critical data for the management of animals in human care and valuable insights for conservation of wild populations;
WHEREAS, admission is always free to the Zoo’s 163-acre park in the heart of Washington, D.C. which features 1800 animals representing 360 species and is a popular destination for children and families;
WHEREAS, the Zoo’s Giant Panda Cam connects millions of online viewers across the globe to Washington’s D.C.’s most famous bears;
WHEREAS, the Zoo’s giant panda family, adult female Mei Xiang, adult male Tian Tian and four surviving panda cubs Tai Shan, Bao Bao, Bei Bei and Xiao Qi Ji are ambassadors for their species, attracting visitors to the Nation’s Capital and connecting residents to the importance of saving species and habitats;
WHEREAS, the giant panda is considered a conservation success story, with a wild population growing from a few hundred individuals facing ever-increasing threats from expanding human activities to over 1,800 giant pandas in just a few decades;
WHEREAS, the collaborative efforts of the Zoo with Chinese partners to conserve the species in the wild and the contributions to the science of building and growing healthy populations of giant pandas in human care over the past five decades helped support the International Union for Conservation of Nature downlisting of giant pandas from endangered to vulnerable.
RESOLVED, BY THE COUNCIL OF THE DISTRICT OF COLUMBIA, That this resolution may be cited as the “Smithsonian’s National Zoo and Conservation Biology Institute Giant Panda 50th Anniversary Recognition Resolution of 2022.”
Sec. 2. The Council of the District of Columbia honors the Smithsonian’s National Zoo giant panda family and the historic anniversary by declaring April 2022 as “Giant Panda Month” in the District of Columbia.
Sec. 3. This resolution shall take effect immediately upon the first date of publication in the District of Columbia Register.