A group of 60 Giant Panda supporters held their annual Giant Panda Birthday party this year on August 20th, 2016 at Lillie’s Restaurant in Washington, D. C. As a result of their efforts, they raised over $5,000 by holding a live auction, a silent auction, raffle and sale of Bao Bao and Bei Bei medallions (which are on sale in the Pandas International On-Line Store as well). The money will be used to support the CCRCGP efforts to increase Giant Panda enrichment. And this year, the group was honored to have a very special attendee - distinguished guest Dr. Li DeShang who is the Deputy Director and Head Veterinarian at the CCRCGP. Once again this year, the group created and signed a Special Giant Panda Birthday Banner that includes photos of all the Birthday Pandas. Those who attended the party signed the banner with special birthday wishes for our beloved bears. Suzanne Braden will take the banner to China in October and present it to the keepers at the Dujiangyan Giant Panda Base where Pan Pan and Tai Shan live. Pandas International would like to thank each of the 60 people who participated in this year’s Giant Panda Birthday and for raising over $5,000.00
On Sunday, December 1st, on her 100th day of life, the National Zoo christened Mei Xiang and Tian Tian's little girl Bao Bao. Her name means “precious” or “treasure” and was the most popular name chosen by an online poll that collected more than 123,000 votes from around the world. The 100-day naming ceremony follows Chinese tradition, explained Cui Tiankai, the People's Republic of China’s ambassador to the United States. “The 100-day celebration is very unique and of special importance,” he said. “It represents the wish that the baby grows up happy and in good health and lives more than 100 years.” Panda mother Mei Xiang (may-SHONG) has been caring for her cub in the panda den since she was born Aug. 23. Bao Bao will have her public unveiling early in 2014 but panda keepers said Mei Xiang has indicated she may want to take Bao Bao outside as soon as keepers let her. A live online camera view of Bao Bao revealed she is starting to scoot around, though she can't yet raise her hind legs to crawl. She has also started mouthing bamboo as her teeth are about to come in. In addition to the Chinese ambassador, the ceremony featured speeches from the National Zoo's Dennis Kelly and video presentations from First Lady Michelle Obama and the first lady of China Peng Liyu. Lion dancers entertained the crowds as well. Proud parents, Tian Tian (left) and Mei Xiang (right). Karen Wille, a long time supporter/adopter and friend of Pandas International, got to the zoo very early Sunday morning to join the celebration for Bao Bao. Karen was quoted in the China Daily as saying, "I am very passionate about pandas...they are just incredibly beautiful and magnificent animals that touch our souls and our hearts". Karen's love of Pandas started with the birth of Tai Shan, who she has been to China four times to visit. And don't think we don't see you, Christie Harper, in the background! Christie is another wonderful PI friend and supporter! Karen, who spent Saturday night putting together gift bags from herself and PI, said [...]
China, November 2013 - Travel Notes Pandas International's assistant director, Andrea Muller, and social media coordinator, Tanja Butler-Melone, traveled to China in November 2013 to tour the CCRCGP facilities, meet with staff and researchers, and visit the pandas - making special note of those available for adoption through PI and the Wolong Panda Club. Having flown into Chengdu, we began our travels with a quick trip to see Mei Lan. Born at Zoo Atlanta on September 6, 2009, Mei Lan was the first panda born to parents Lun Lun and Yang Yang. Originally identified by the zoo as a female, Mei Lan was discovered to be a male after his return to China in February 2010. During our visit, Mei Lan was happily munching on his bamboo breakfast, pausing only long enough to switch positions. Mei Lan will be joined soon by brothers Xi Lan (age 5) and Po (age 3) who are scheduled to depart for China within the next few months. We'll keep you updated as we learn more about their travel schedule. Meanwhile, the youngest members of the family - twin boys Mei Lun and Mei Huan, born earlier this summer - continue to delight fans around the world. They should be making their public debut soon as they have recently begun walking - the prerequisite to joining mom, Lun Lun, in the public habitat.