In 2 days, I will be Washington DC visiting the National Zoo. The National Zoological Park is a part of the Smithsonian Institution, the world’s largest museum and research complex. I am especially excited to see the 3rd panda born in captivity, Tai Shan. He is the first panda cub born at the National Zoo to survive for more than a few days and is only the third to survive in the United States. Bloggers have nicknamed him Butterstick when he was first born.
I went on the Zoo website to watch the Panda Cam and saw him live! I can’t wait to go see him and his parents!
I went on Wiki and found out that baby pandas are only the size of a stick of butter when they are born… some pandas go in labour for more than 36 hours to give birth to them! Adults are about 250 lbs. Giant pandas are endangered species and that’s why they have to breed in captivity. BUT it is not uncommon for them to lose interest in breeding without the natural competition.. so they use Viagara! It’s true! To loan a panda from China, it costs US$ 1,000,000 a year.
Here is a list of the cubs born in North America:
Hua Mei, born 1999 in the San Diego Zoo, returned to China 2004.
Mei Sheng, born 2003 in the San Diego Zoo, returned to China 2007.
Tai Shan, born July 9, 2005 at the National Zoo in Washington.
Su Lin, born August 2, 2005 at the San Diego Zoo.
Mei Lan, born September 6, 2006 at Zoo Atlanta.
Zhen Zhen, born August 3, 2007 at the San Diego Zoo