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Snow Day: Smithsonian's National Zoo

  • A giant panda cub stands in an area covered in a light dusting of snow and some scattered bamboo leaves.
    Jan. 31, 2021 | Giant panda cub Xiao Qi Ji encountered snow for the first time! He was nervous at first; eventually he worked up the courage to take a taste of the snow.
  • Jan. 31, 2021 | Amur tiger Pavel in the snow.
    Jan. 31, 2021 | Amur tiger Pavel lounges in the snow at the Great Cats habitat.
  • A red panda stands in a snowy outdoor yard
    Jan. 31, 2021 | Red pandas Asa and Chris-Anne explore their snowy habitat on Asia Trail.
  • Bobcat in the snow at Smithsonian's National Zoo
    Jan. 31, 2021 | Bobcat in the snow at Smithsonian's National Zoo.
  • Przewalkski's horse in the snow at the Smithsonian Conservation Biology Institute
    Feb. 1, 2021 | Przewalkski's horse in the snow at the Smithsonian Conservation Biology Institute
  • A maned wolf standing in the snow
    Jan. 31, 2021 | Maned wolf in the snow at the Smithsonian's National Zoo.
As snow blanketed the Washington, D.C. region Jan. 31, 2021, the Smithsonian's National Zoo's animals woke up to a winter wonderland. With this weather event came another significant milestone—giant panda cub Xiao Qi Ji’s first encounter with snow! Keepers say although he seemed nervous at first, eventually he worked up the courage to take a little nip at the fresh powder.

Jan. 31, 2021 | Slides, somersaults and pure panda joy. Happy snow day from giant pandas Mei Xiang and Tian Tian! #PandaStory

Feb. 1, 2021 | Are the snowy foothills of the Shenandoah too cold for our Przewalski's horses? Neighgative! Winters are milder at the Smithsonian Conservation Biology Institute than in their native Gobi Desert in Mongolia, where temps can plunge to -50 degrees Fahrenheit. 

Jan. 31, 2021 | Asia Trail keepers sprinkled blueberries around the red panda habitat; females Asa and Chris-Anne had a blast foraging for treats! Listen closely to hear Asa “twitter.” Red pandas communicate through squeals, hisses, grunts + “huff-quacks” too!

Feb. 2, 2021 | Giant panda Tian Tian had a ball in the snow today. Literally. 

Feb. 2, 2021 | Do you wanna *eat* a snowman? Our guinea pigs sure do! Amazonia keepers know enrichment (like snow) can make mealtime extra fun. Our guinea pigs dine on a variety of veggies, including lettuce, carrots and green peppers.

Feb. 2, 2021 | Field trip to Front Royal, Virginia, for a peaceful and serene snow day with our red-crowned crane pair, Tara and Prince, at the Smithsonian Conservation Biology Institute.

Feb. 19, 2021 | Tackles, tumbles and twitters. Happy snow day from our romping red pandas, Asa and Chris-Anne! Did you know that red pandas have fuzzy feet? It's true—their footpads are covered in fur! They are built to withstand the snow in the high-altitude, temperate forests of the Himalayas.