Meet the 2013 Panda Cubs by Name

We are always so excited when we find out the names of the previous years cubs - this year was no exception!  So, here they are: Mother Date of Birth Gender Name of Cub Meaning Hai Zi June 22, 2013 Female Xin Xin   鑫鑫 a lot of gold, prosperous Hai Zi June 22, 2013 Female Miao Miao 淼淼 vast water Cao Cao July 6, 2013 Female Hua Jiao 华娇 tender, pretty and lovely girl of China Cao Cao July 6, 2013 Male Hua Hu 华虎 Tiger of China Xi Xi July 10, 2013 Male Hua Bao 华豹 Leopard of China Xin Nier July 13, 2013 Female Hua Ni 华妮 Little girl of China Hua Mei July 18, 2013 Male Hua Rong 华荣 Honor of China Xi Mei July 24, 2014 Female Xi Le 喜乐 Happy and happy Zhuang Mei August 5, 2013 Male Xing Ya 星雅 *Star Ya Zhuang Mei August 5, 2013 Female Xing An 星安 *Star An Gong Zhu August 11, 2013 Female Wu Wen 武雯 Flower shape cloud Shui Xiu August 12, 2013 Male Hua Yang 华阳 Sun of China Ye Ye August 14, 2013 Female Hua Yan 华妍 Beauty of China Feng Yi August 18, 2013 Male Gong Gong 贡贡 tribute, present, gift Na Na August 27, 2013 Male Shun Shun 舜舜 name of an ancient empera Ying Ying August 29, 2013 Male Sen Sen 森森 Forest Ge Ge September 2, 2013 Female Hua Li 华丽 good looking girl of China * Ya and An together is Ya’an, name of the city Cubs in blue have been lifetime adopted.  All others are available for adoption.  To learn more about adopting a panda visit our ADOPTION PAGE.

From Conception through Year 1 – part 2 of 4

If you didn't catch part 1 - Read about Panda Conception Here A Cub is Born July through September is the period of time that pandas generally give birth to their cubs.  Since pandas have delayed implantation, the gestation period varies.  Typically, they carry their cubs for 3 to 6 months.  All panda cubs are born premature and, as such, they are very fragile. When Panda cubs are born, they are tiny, blind, pink, and have very little hair.  On average, they only weigh about 100g (0.2 lbs).  To put this into perspective, they are approximately the size of a stick of butter - 1/900th the size of their mothers. The limbs of a newborn cub are so weak that they are unable to stand.  They spend the first two months of their lives eating and sleeping. The First Month While pandas are born looking very little like pandas it doesn't take long for that to change.  At about 7 days - some of the typical "panda markings" begin to appear on their ears, around their eyes, and on their shoulders.  The baby panda's whole job is to eat and sleep. At about a month old more of the black markings appear on the neck and chest, their eye patches darken.  They begin to crawl around (it's more of a scoot than a crawl) and their eyes start to open.

Qiang Qiang and I – A Keeper’s Story – Part 4 of 4

Qiang Qiang and I Written by Qiang Zhou, CCRCGP Translated by Pat Weiyi Zhang The saddest moment is when separate After 6 months of intensive care, Qiang Qiang had recovered. His weight increased to 95 kgs. His fur was bright and shining. He was swift and was in good spirits. Except for the amputated hind limbs, he was no different from a normal panda. Once healed, he was transferred to the Bifengxia Panda Base of CCRCGP and I was no longer his keeper. It’s  been years since we separated. I’ve kept him in my heart always, as if he was my child. As long as he is well, it is a sunny day. Reunion with Qiang Qiang  In June, 2012, the Dujiangyan Panda Disease Control Center of CCRCGP was formally established. It is located at the foot of the Qingcheng Mountain, the cradle of Daoism, in a quiet valley. Here the mountain peaks are very beautiful, the environment is nice, the air is clear and the climate is comfortable. When the first group of pandas was transferred to the center, Qiang Qiang was one of them. Due to the increased workload, I was sent to work at the new center. When I saw Qiang Qiang again, I was so happy. He was already 27 years old, which is considered senior age for a giant panda. After many years of separation, he was healthy and in good spirits.  I felt very gratified. If it were not for the missing hind limbs, I would never have connected him to the panda who was fighting with death a few years ago. In that moment, I felt deep respect: a respect for nature, respect for its fairness, respect for strength, respect for the panda, respect for his life that could not be put down, respect for people, respect for those people like me who had devoted their youth to protecting the giant pandas.    

Qiang Qiang and I – A Keeper’s Story – Part 3 of 4

Qiang Qiang and I Written by Qiang Zhou, CCRCGP Translated by Pat Weiyi Zhang Intensive care At 12:30 am, Aug. 4 all of the lights were still on in the offices at the center. The leaders of the center were having emergency meeting, and after detailed discussion, they had come up with an initial recovery plan for Qiang Qiang and Ms. Yanwu Lai and I were appointed as primary keepers.  The Animal Management Department made a detailed feeding plan.  The Animal Hospital made medical treatment plan for Qiang Qiang’s recovery including the amount of medicine to feed Qiang Qiang, which we had to strictly follow. The nutritionists made a special formula of food and Qiang Qiang was also to be given fresh bamboo, apples, carrots, nutritious liquid, bamboo shoots and Wowotou, or panda bread. The Science and Research Department collected fecal, urine, and blood samples for tests.  We had to record Qiang Qiang’s status every 30 minutes. The meeting finished at about 2am. Gradually, keepers and management began to leave after seeing Qiang Qiang finish the nutritious liquid, eat the bamboo shoots, and fall into a peaceful sleep. I was on duty that entire first night. I sat quietly alone in the enclosure, turned on an electric stove (to warm Qiang Qiang), and carefully observed his every movement.   Even when he was asleep and motionless, I would note in my journal: Qiang Qiang was sleeping sweetly. Around 4pm, Qiang Qiang woke up. I thought he was hungry and fed him fresh bamboo shoots and bamboo leaves. Qiang Qiang ate some and slept again until sunrise.

Qiang Qiang and I – A Keeper’s Story – Part 2 of 4

Qiang Qiang and I Written by Qiang Zhou, CCRCGP Translated by Pat Weiyi Zhang Miracle of life At 9:40 pm, Qiang Qiang was transferred to his new home–the quarantine villa for pandas. After traveling the long distance and undergoing a grueling surgery, Qiang Qiang’s spirit was completely deflated, which made us worry even more. You could see that he had lost the strength to even open his eyes.  He just curled up motionlessly on the straw mat we prepared for him. That night, I was the only one scheduled  to be on duty. No one who had helped with Qiang Qiang’s transfer was willing to leave, however.  In the office, we all waited and waited for him to wake up.  In order to keep things as quiet as possible, I was the only one who left the office to watch him inside the enclosure. Each time I checked on him, I quietly got close to him, looking at him with so much love as if he was my own child. He was a skeleton of an adult panda with missing limbs. The stitches on his wounds were acutely visible. Some senile plaque could be seen on his nose. He was so thin that only his fur was left to cover his body. Time passed and Qiang Qiang was still in a coma. My tears came again.

Qiang Qiang and I – A Keeper’s Story – Part 1 of 4

Qiang Qiang and I Written by Qiang Zhou, CCRCGP Translated by Pat Weiyi Zhang   For 8 years I have been working to protect the Giant Panda. Time has flown so quickly and so much has happened during that time between the pandas and myself.  The particular panda that I think of most, however, is Qiang Qiang, whose legs were both fractured when I met him – but first, some history. A Fantastic Journey When I was 10, my parents took me to see the pandas in the Wolong Natural Reserve. It was my first time being so close to nature: ranges of lofty mountains, rugged and steep mountain roads, torrential but clear river water, dense and well grown forests, occasionally we were met with a cool breeze and, finally, the pandas that my heart had been longing to see.  Their lovely image left a deep impression in my mind, though at that time I did not know these cute bears would become such a huge part of my life.

Panda Love | TEDx Talk by Bill McShea

Dr. Bill McShea doesn't love pandas as much as we do. In this talk about the "average bear," he hilariously explains why, and how our affection is actually a good thing for our world. Dr. Bill McShea is a wildlife ecologist for the Smithsonian's Conservation Biology Institute at Front Royal, Virginia. He received his education at Bucknell University (B.S.), University of New Hampshire (M.S.), and State University of New York at Binghamton (PhD). He has worked at the Front Royal facility since 1986. He is currently co-chair of the IUCN Deer Specialist Group which is responsible for setting endangerment levels for deer species worldwide. He has edited 3 volumes on wildlife management (deer, oak forests and Asian wildlife) and a co-authored a book on deer ecology. When not in Virginia, Bill has worked in Southeast Asia, Gabon, Brazil, and China. He has over 100 publications in scientific journals, many involving wildlife in the Virginia area. Bill's current research focuses on the management of wildlife populations in forested ecosystems, including giant pandas in China, rare deer in Cambodia, large mammals along the Appalachian Trail, invasive plant/animal interactions, chestnut tree restoration, and wood turtles in Virginia.

Honored to be Named “Favorite Panda Charity” for a 2nd year

Atlanta, GA January 17, 2014 Jeroen Jacobs announced the results of the Giant Panda Zoo Awards 2013, in a ceremony held at the Zoo Atlanta on Friday, January 17.  There were 10 categories for the voting including; Favorite Cub of the year, the Human of the year, Panda Moment of the Year and Favorite Panda Charity. Mei Lun & Mei Huan of the Atlanta Zoo won for cubs of the year, since they are the first surviving twin cubs born in the US. The Human of the year was shared between Dr. Copper Aitken-Palmer and Dr. David Kersey for the artificial insemination of the cubs. Panda Moment of the Year was the reintroduction of Zhang Xiang into the wild. Pandas International won Favorite Panda Charity for the second year in a row.  Suzanne Braden, Director of Pandas International, said “the organization is extremely honored to win this award again.  We would like to thank everyone who voted for Pandas International to achieve this recognition of our work.” Pandas International was extremely pleased to see Dr. David Kersey win as he collaborates with Pandas International on endocrinology training. Zhang Xiang’s win is also related to Pandas International as her tracking collar for monitoring her in the wild was provided by Pandas International, and her twin sister Su Shan is named after Director Suzanne Braden. Pandas International's mission is to ensure the preservation and propagation of the endangered Giant Panda by providing public awareness and education, support for research, habitat preservation and enhancement, and assistance to Giant Panda Centers. Pandas International is a non-profit based in Littleton, CO. Braden noted that the award will increase awareness of the organization and the plight of the endangered Giant Pandas. For winners in all categories go to Giant Panda Zoo’s web site -, which posts all things panda; news of Giant Pandas around the world, panda facts and history of the pandas.  Giant Panda Zoo contributes to increasing awareness of the Giant Panda in a significant way. Jeroen Jacobs, founder of Giant Panda Zoo, celebrates 25 years of passion for pandas this year. His [...]