It’s a snow day for the giant pandas at the Smithsonian's National Zoo in Washington, D.C.!
Two giant pandas, Mei Xiang and Tian Tian, took full advantage of the winter wonderland and were caught on camera playing in the snow at the zoo.
In a clip shared by the zoo, both pandas can be seen rolling around the ground in various areas of their enclosure. On separate occasions, both pandas laid on their back at the top of the hill before sliding down all the way to the bottom on their backs.
“❄️🐼 Slides, somersaults and pure panda joy,” the National Zoo tweeted on its official account. “Happy snow day from giant pandas Mei Xiang and Tian Tian! 🌨🐾#SnowDay #PandaStory”
The National Zoo’s account shared another series of photos of animals in the snow, including a photo of a tiger lounging in a snowy patch and an elephant trodding through the snow.
“❄️ As snow blanketed Washington, D.C., our animals woke up to a winter wonderland,” the tweet read. “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. 🐾👅"
According to the Smithsonian’s National Zoo & Conservation Biology Institute’s website, there are three giant pandas currently at the zoo: Mei Xiang, an adult female, Tian Tian, an adult male, and Xiao Qi Ji, a male cub who was born Aug. 21, 2020, to Mei Xiang and Tian Tian.
In a historic event, the 22-year-old panda gave birth to a cub over the summer, becoming the oldest panda to give birth in the United States as well as the first panda to give birth after using frozen semen she was artificially inseminated with back in March. Mei Xiang has three surviving cubs — Bei Bei, Tai Shan, and Bao Bao — who reside in China due to an agreement with the United States.
Xiao Qi Ji, whose name means “little miracle,” made his formal introduction into the world last week as thousands of people tuned in for the livestream on the “Giant Panda Cam." Since his public debut, Xiao Qi Ji has been able to enjoy bamboo for the first time, shortly following his first taste of sweet potato, which according to the Smithsonian’s National Zoo & Conservation Biology Institute, he loved!
Xiao Qi Ji is the first baby panda the zoo has had in five years.