Apr
16

Today in Smithsonian History: April 16, 1972

Ling-Ling (left) and Hsing-Hsing, the National Zoological Park's Giant Pandas, play together in their outside enclosure.

Ling-Ling (left) and Hsing-Hsing, the National Zoological Park’s Giant Pandas, play together in their outside enclosure. (Photo by Jessie Cohen, as featured in the Torch, August 1985)

April 16, 1972 Upon the occasion of the historic visit of President Richard M. Nixon to China, the People’s Republic of China presents two giant pandas, Hsing-Hsing (male) and Ling-Ling (female), to the United States. They become residents of the National Zoological Park on April 16, 1972.

Currently, giant pandas Mei Xiang and Tian Tian, parents of Bao Bao (born Aug. 23, 2013) and Bei Bei (born Aug. 22, 2015) are at the National Zoo under a Giant Panda Cooperative Research and Breeding Agreement.  Mei and Tian are the focus of an ambitious research, conservation, and breeding program designed to preserve this endangered species.

Check on the Zoo’s current panda residents with the Panda Cam. 

Giant panda Bao Bao celebrates her first birthday at the Smithsonian's National Zoo, Aug. 23, 2014. (Photo via Smithsonian's National Zoo)

Giant panda Bao Bao celebrates her first birthday at the Smithsonian’s National Zoo, Aug. 23, 2014. (Photo via Smithsonian’s National Zoo)

One small step for Bei Bei, one giant leap in adorable for us as Bei Bei takes his first wobbly walk:


Posted: 16 April 2018
About the Author:

The Torch relies on contributions from the entire Smithsonian community.