U.S. national zoo to hold housewarming event inside panda house

Source: Xinhua| 2019-02-22 10:01:49|Editor: Xiaoxia
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WASHINGTON, Feb. 21 (Xinhua) -- The Smithsonian's National Zoo here has announced it will hold a housewarming event inside the panda house on Saturday to celebrate the completion of a new visitor exhibit.

The celebration will feature special treats for giant pandas and red pandas, as well as interactive games and activities for visitors who will also be able to talk with panda scientists and keepers.

The new exhibit, according to the zoo, will teach visitors about the ecology, history, reproduction, conservation and care of giant pandas and enable them to learn about these unique bears and their natural habitat.

It will also "chronicle the advances that panda scientists in China and at the Smithsonian have made during the past four decades."

Saturday's event will be jointly hosted by the zoo and the Chinese embassy.

Giant pandas, which live mainly in southwest China's Sichuan Province as well as neighboring Shaanxi and Gansu, are dubbed China's "national treasure" and are cherished as a symbol of peace and friendship.

There are now some 1,800 giant pandas in the wild in China, and the number of pandas bred in captivity reached 548 globally as of last November.

At the zoo's David M. Rubenstein Family Giant Panda Habitat currently live three giant pandas, Mei Xiang, Tian Tian and their son, Bei Bei.

Mei Xiang, a female, and Tian Tian, a male, arrived in Washington D.C. in late 2000 as the zoo's second pair of giant pandas. Ever since then, the pair has given birth to three cubs.

Bei Bei, 3, is now the only panda offspring in the zoo after his elder brother, Tai Shan, and his elder sister, Bao Bao, moved to China, respectively in 2010 and early 2017, as per an agreement between China and the United States.

The Smithsonian's National Zoo is one of Washington D.C.'s most popular tourist destinations and is part of the Smithsonian Institution, a renowned museum and research complex.

In the past decades, giant pandas at the zoo have symbolized cross-cultural collaboration between the United States and China.