Share this page:

Media Advisory: Miracle Cub Giant Panda Xiao Qi Ji's Birthday Celebration on Aug. 21


Presentation of panda-friendly fruitsicle cake to beloved giant panda Xiao Qi Ji, who turns 3 years old Monday, Aug. 21.  


Monday, Aug. 21 
7 a.m.: Registered media in cars with confirmed parking spots can access the Zoo from the Connecticut Avenue vehicle entrance. Media credentials required for admittance. 

7:30 a.m.: Zoo leadership will be available for interviews. 

8 a.m.: Zoo opens to the public.  

9 a.m.: Giant panda Xiao Qi Ji will access his outdoor habitat and receive cake. 

9:30 a.m.: Media event concludes.  


David M. Rubenstein Family Giant Panda Habitat 
Smithsonian’s National Zoo and Conservation Biology Institute 
3001 Connecticut Ave. N.W. 
(Note: Media credentials are required to cover the celebration. Media parking in Lot B. Media must RSVP by 5 p.m. Thursday, August 17. Space will not be reserved for media separately from the visitors.) 


Brandie Smith, John and Adrienne Mars director, Smithsonian’s National Zoo and Conservation Biology Institute 

Bryan Amaral, senior curator of mammals, Smithsonian’s National Zoo and Conservation Biology Institute 


Sunday, August 27 is Tian Tian’s birthday. He will turn 26. He will receive a birthday cake at 9 a.m. Media wishing to attend Tian Tian’s birthday can do so by RSVPing to by Thursday, August 24 by 5 p.m. 

The Smithsonian’s National Zoo and Conservation Biology Institute’s giant panda, Xiao Qi Ji (SHIAU-chi-ji), will celebrate his third birthday Aug. 21 with a specially tailored fruitsicle cake. This will be his last birthday in Washington, D.C. Xiao Qi Ji and his parents, 25-year-old Tian Tian (tee-YEN tee-YEN) and 25-year-old Mei Xiang (MAY-shong), will leave the Zoo by December.  Panda Palooza, a giant farewell celebearation will be held at the Zoo Sept. 23 to Oct 1; details to be announced in early September. 

Zoo leadership will be available for interviews between 7:30 a.m. and 8 a.m. After 8 a.m., Zoo staff will not be available. The Zoo opens to visitors with free passes at 8 a.m. At 9 a.m., keepers will let Xiao Qi Ji outside.   


All media must RSVP by 5 p.m. Thursday, August 17. Register by providing name, outlet, email, phone and parking request to Media must be on the RSVP list to enter the Zoo. To help ensure there is enough room in the reserved media section, attendance will be limited to two persons per outlet.  


No satellite trucks can be accommodated on-site. Any media planning on live shots must use satellite packs. Media interested in live shots should preregister and confirm with Ellie Tahmaseb at or 202.843.2958. Zoo staff will not be available to interview. Prior to 7 a.m., media may conduct live shots outside the Zoo’s Connecticut Avenue pedestrian entrance.  


Wear visible media credentials while on-site at the Zoo.  


Giant Panda Program 

For comprehensive resources on the Zoo’s giant panda breeding and conservation program, visit the Zoo’s website.  

Giant Panda Cam 

Fans can stay connected to Xiao Qi Ji’s birthday celebration via the Giant Panda Cam, sponsored by Boeing. The Smithsonian’s National Zoo and Conservation Biology Institute does not grant permission for any of the Zoo’s webcams to be streamed live on non-Smithsonian sites. The Giant Panda Cam is copywritten to the Smithsonian Institution and does not fall under the Smithsonian’s Open Access policy. Media who wish to share the Giant Panda Cam may direct their audiences to the Zoo’s website and must credit the Smithsonian’s National Zoo and Conservation Biology Institute. Videos from the Giant Panda Cam in the Zoo’s newsroom or YouTube channel may be shared by media, always with credit to Smithsonian’s National Zoo and Conservation Biology Institute. 

Entry Requirements 
Information on entry requirements is available on the Zoo’s website. Admission to the Zoo is free, but entry passes are required for all guests, including infants. Passes open on a rolling basis and can be reserved up to 30 days in advance. More passes are released one week out and one day out. Same-day passes are also available.  

# # #