Happy snow day! This video from Smithsonian’s National Zoo captures giant pandas Mei Xiang and Tian Tian sliding and rolling around in their zoo habitat in Washington, D.C. The area received several inches of snow this past weekend (January 30-31, 2021).
Mei Xiang and Tian Tian’s five-month-old cub, Xiao Qi Ji, didn’t join the fun. Although his parents embraced the city’s first major snowfall of 2021, Xiao Qi Ji wasn’t so sure about the cold white stuff. According to the zoo, he only spent five minutes outside, but was “very interested,” and “took a little nip” at the snow.
?? As snow blanketed Washington, D.C., our animals woke up to a winter wonderland. With this weather event came another significant milestone—giant panda cub Xiao Qi Ji’s first encounter with snow! Keepers say he took a little nip at the fresh powder. ??#SnowDay #PandaStory pic.twitter.com/8hYfYuoP5f
— National Zoo (@NationalZoo) January 31, 2021
The mountain temperatures of giant pandas’ native habitat are similar to winter temperatures in Washington, so it’s not surprising to see the National Zoo’s pandas out and active during the winter season.
Want to keep up with the pandas? The zoo has four webcams continuously streaming – the giant pandas, lions, elephants, and naked mole rats.
Bottom line: Video of giant pandas sliding and playing in the snow.
Eleanor Imster has helped write and edit EarthSky since 1995. She was an integral part of the award-winning EarthSky radio series almost since it began until it ended in 2013. Today, as Lead Editor at EarthSky.org, she helps present the science and nature stories and photos you enjoy. She also serves as one of the voices of EarthSky on social media platforms including Facebook, Twitter and G+. She and her husband live in Tennessee and have two grown sons.