Smithsonian’s National Zoo celebrates 50th ‘Pandaversary’


The Smithsonian National Zoo celebrates its 50th Anniversary of their Giant Panda conservation. (WJLA)

WASHINGTON (WJLA) — The Smithsonian’s National Zoo is celebrating the golden anniversary of its achievement in the care, conservation, breeding, and study of giant pandas.

The Smithsonian National Zoo celebrates its 50th Anniversary of their Giant Panda conservation. (Video: WJLA)

Zookeepers rolled out a special fruitsicle cake for the in-residence panda family to honor the special achievement.

Over the past five decades, the Zoo’s bears have become international icons, beloved both for their adorable antics and their ability to bring colleagues from the United States and China together to collaborate for a common goal of saving the species from extinction.

Ever since their arrival, giant pandas have symbolized cross-cultural collaboration between the United States and China. In 1972, Chinese Premier Zhou Enlai gifted two giant pandas to the American people as a gesture of goodwill following former President Richard M. Nixon’s groundbreaking state visit.

The President and First Lady Pat Nixon selected the Smithsonian’s National Zoo as female Ling-Ling and male Hsing-Hsing’s home in the United States. Then-Zoo director Theodore Reed personally escorted the bears from China, and they arrived in Washington, D.C., on April 16, 1972.

The Smithsonian National Zoo celebrates its 50th Anniversary of their Giant Panda conservation. (Photo: WJLA)

Zoo visitors will get to enjoy lion dance performances, panda-shaped bao buns, and calligraphy demonstrations and see the pandas receive special enrichment treats. The world premiere of the Smithsonian Channel’s documentary on the Zoo’s giant panda program, “The Miracle Panda,” will be screened for a limited time at the Zoo’s Visitor Center Theater at 10 a.m. and 1 p.m.

4 comments on “Smithsonian’s National Zoo celebrates 50th ‘Pandaversary’

  1. I love pandas! But, I may need to have my eyes checked because I thought it was going to be Plandemic Anniversary. I had forgotten that the Smithsonian was partnered with Dasak’s Ecohealth alliance, and UC Davis on the virus research. Also, the head of the US Supreme Court is actually head of the Smithsonian. I wonder if the China connection originated with the Pandas? Daszak is the child of an apparent Ukrainian Nazi who escaped to the UK after WWII or, at least, his father fought with the Germans – whether willingly or unwillingly.

    Liked by 1 person

    • I adore pandas! When my dad traveled he would bring home stuffed pandas for me, back then they were made in the US, it was the only thing I was allowed to have that came from China. 😂
      After the cold war, between 1957 and 1969, 69 pandas were gifted to 69 Nations as gestures of friendship and again in 1772 China sent two pandas to the United States as a gesture good will.

      Liked by 1 person

      • That was kind of him, but he strikes me as the best father any kid. could have, since he moved you to Hershey, too! I hope you still have your toy pandas! They are so cute! I didn’t realize that they gave so many. There was a panda cam in recent years… maybe they still have it.

        Liked by 1 person

  2. I think of him often, he had great wisdom and a fun personality! I do, except one that was a bigger and older that was falling apart and my mother stitched it up as much as she could, she finally decided to toss it in the trash and my dad spotted it sticking out of the trash and he pulled it out and stuck in his trunk.. then my mom tried to sneak it out to the trash and I came home for lunch and saw it in the trash and I brought it back in… my mother chased down the garbage truck… Lol 😆
    I remember, I haven’t seen that for a while, I have to check that out. I do know they have YouTube videos of pandas, the cubs are a hoot to watch. 🐼♥️🐼


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