The Smithsonian’s National Zoo provides updates on giant panda Mei Xiang and her cub through the Giant Panda Bulletin e-newsletter. Use the slider below to view all giant panda cub updates since the cub's birth Aug. 21, beginning with the most recent update.
Media (news) outlets may use giant panda cub photos/videos for news purposes only with credit to Smithsonian’s National Zoo. Approved purposes include: print/online articles, broadcast reports and social media feeds. Below is a YouTube playlist of giant panda video content.
To be added to our media list, email ZooSCBIcommunications@si.edu.
- Dec. 7 | Smithsonian’s National Zoo and Conservation Biology Institute Extends Giant Panda Agreement
- Nov. 23 | His Name is Xiao Qi Ji
- Nov. 16 | Public Can Vote to Name Smithsonian's National Zoo Giant Panda Cub
- Oct. 5 | It’s a Boy! Smithsonian's National Zoo's Giant Panda Cub Is Male
- Aug. 21 | Giant Panda Cub Born at Smithsonian’s National Zoo
- Aug. 14 | Veterinarians Find Fetal Tissue on Giant Panda Ultrasound
Background and FAQs
- Date of birth: Aug. 21, 2020
- Sex: Male
- Current weight: 60 pounds (as of Aug. 20, 2021)
Xiao Qi Ji's Milestones
Updated Aug. 2, 2021
- Aug. 21: Born to mother Mei Xiang and father Tian Tian
- Sept. 3: Black markings on his legs, ears, and back begin to appear (2 weeks)
- Sept. 13: First exam conducted by the Giant Panda Team (3 weeks)
- Sept. 19: First veterinary exam and vaccination (4 weeks)
- Oct. 2: First attempt at crawling (6 weeks)
- Oct. 5: Sex reveal - it’s a boy! (6 weeks)
- Oct. 14: Eyes and ears are fully open (7 weeks)
- Oct. 19: First trip out of the den (8 weeks)
- Oct. 21: The cub is as round as he is long at 16.5 inches (8 weeks)
- Oct. 31: First enrichment item received, a pumpkin for Halloween (10 weeks)
- Nov. 9: Incisors erupt at the gumline (11 weeks)
- Nov. 23: Receives his name following a public vote - Xiao Qi Ji, which means “Little Miracle” in Mandarin Chinese (13 weeks)
- Nov. 25: First trip on the outdoor patio and first glimpse of his father (13 weeks)
- Nov. 26: First steps (13 weeks)
- Dec. 7: Begins to mouth some bamboo (15 weeks)
- Late December 2020: Begins climbing rockwork (~17 weeks)
- Early January 2021: Shows interest in toys (~18 weeks)
- Jan. 21: First solid food - sweet potato (5 months)
- Jan. 27: Eats bamboo for the first time (22 weeks)
- Jan. 31: First encounter with snow (23 weeks)
- Feb. 8: Eats a leaf-eater biscuit for the first time (24 weeks)
- Feb. 16: First time in the outdoor habitat (25 weeks)
- Feb. 21: First taste of applesauce (26 weeks)
- March 1: First taste of banana (27 weeks)
- March 12: Explore the moat (area filled with greenery in the front of the habitat) with Mei Xiang (29 weeks)
- March 22: First taste of apple and pear (30 weeks)
- Week of April 26: First taste of diluted honey water (36 weeks)
- May 21: Public debut (9 months)
- Week of May 24: Voluntarily stepped on large scale (40 weeks)
- May 2021: First cub-sized fruitsicle
- June 2021: Learned and mastered behavior "stand up"
How to Support
Every day, our experts work to safeguard the health and wellness of our living collections here in Washington, D.C., and in Front Royal, Virginia, through world-class care, nutrition and enrichment. And that is only half the story — the Zoo's scientists, veterinarians and wildlife biologists are hard at work saving species around the globe. While here at home, they are distance-educating students of all ages about the importance of conservation and the wonders of wildlife. Now more than ever, we need your support. We hope you will join us in this important work.
Calling all panda fans and budding biologists! Expand your knowledge of these beloved black-and-white bears with fun and educational books from Smithsonian Enterprises! Proceeds from these products support the Smithsonian’s National Zoo’s conservation research and help refurbish animals' habitats.
- “Bei Bei Goes Home” Book | Follow the remarkable story of giant panda Bei Bei as he grows, plays and explores at the Smithsonian’s National Zoo and beyond.
- "I Am A Panda" Book | Wiggle a finger puppet and follow a day in the life of a giant panda. (Ages 0-3)
- "Panda" Book | Learn about giant pandas’ habitat, favorite foods and caring for cubs. (Ages 0-3)
- "Welcome, Bao Bao" Book | This photo- and fact-filled book introduces kids to giant panda cub Bao Bao’s world! (Ages 8+)
- "The Animal Book" | Journey around the world with curious creatures, from waddling penguins to leaping frogs. (Ages 8+)
- "Smithsonian Zoology: Inside the Secret World of Animals" Book | Dramatic photography illuminates the fascinating stories behind animal adaptations. (All ages)
Media (news) outlets may use the Smithsonian’s National Zoo and Conservation Biology Institute’s giant panda cub photos/videos for news purposes only with credit to Smithsonian’s National Zoo. Approved purposes include: print/online articles, broadcast reports and social media feeds.
Filmmakers that wish to use giant panda cub photos/videos in a documentary must receive approval from the Smithsonian’s National Zoo and Conservation Biology Institute and the Smithsonian Film Committee. There may be a licensing fee associated with this request. Fill out the Filming Request Form here.
The Smithsonian’s National Zoo’s Giant Panda Cam may not be streamed live on any non-Smithsonian website or social media platform. The Giant Panda Cam is copywritten to the Smithsonian Institution and does not fall under the Smithsonian’s Open Access policy. Media/Individuals that intend to share the Giant Panda Cam with their audiences must direct them to nationalzoo.si.edu with credit to Smithsonian’s National Zoo.