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The National Zoo's New Giant Panda Cub: Mei Xiang Delivers a Miracle

Evening Program

Wednesday, February 24, 2021 - 6:45 p.m. ET
Code: 1L0371
Tickets
$25 - Member
$30 - Non-Member
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Zoo veterinarians measure and care for the giant panda cub (National Zoological Park)

STREAMING PROGRAM INFORMATION

  • This program is part of our Smithsonian Associates Streaming series.
  • Platform: Zoom
  • Online registration is required.
  • If you register multiple individuals, you will be asked to supply individual names and email addresses so they can receive a Zoom link email. Please note that if there is a change in program schedule or a cancellation, we will notify you via email, and it will be your responsibility to notify other registrants in your group.

PROGRAM DESCRIPTION

The world held its breath, then rejoiced when the National Zoo’s giant panda, Mei Xiang, 22, gave birth to a healthy cub in August: At her age, the odds were not in her favor. The event was especially joyful for panda fans left empty-handed as each of Mei Xiang’s other offspring, Tai Shan, Bao Bao, and Bei Bei, were sent at age 4 to China in accordance with the Zoo’s cooperative breeding agreement with the China Wildlife Conservation Association.

The birth of the male cub, recently named Xiao Qi Ji ("little miracle"), also marked several important scientific breakthroughs. Reproductive scientists from the Smithsonian Conservation Biology Institute (SCBI) and Zoo veterinarians performed an artificial insemination on Mei Xiang with frozen semen collected from Tian Tian. She is the oldest giant panda in the United States to give birth. She is also the country’s first giant panda to have a successful pregnancy after the use of frozen semen.

SCBI staff scientist Pierre Comizzoli, who oversaw the artificial insemination process, and Laurie Thompson, assistant curator for giant pandas at the Zoo, discuss the panda’s birth and provide an update on his growth and development.

UPDATED PATRON INFORMATION

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  • Once registered, patrons should receive an automatic email confirmation from CustomerService@SmithsonianAssociates.org.
  • Separate Zoom link information will be emailed closer to the date of the program. If you do not receive your Zoom link information 24 hours prior to the start of the program, please email Customer Service for assistance.
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Inside Science

Location
This program is part of our
Smithsonian Associates Streaming series.