VIDEO: National Zoo panda bubble bath turns into playful wrestling match

Giant panda cub Xiao Qi Ji eats bamboo, fruit and high fiber biscuits. The panda took part in an enrichment exercise with his mother recently. (Courtesy The National Zoo)

The National Zoo’s panda cub Xiao Qi Ji and his mother Mei Xiang are enjoying the fall weather with some of their favorite scents.

Zookeepers that were cleaning the indoor enclosure that the pandas live in realized they needed to keep the pandas entertained as they decided to come up “supervise” their work while waiting outside. So, they decided to give the pandas a little sensory-enrichment exercise.

“We gave them some bubble bath solution, one of Mei Xiang’s favorite scents,” giant panda keeper Mariel Lally wrote in an update. “When giant pandas enjoy a particular scent, they rub it all over themselves, a behavior called scent-anointing.”

After that, the pandas got excited and the bath turned into a wrestling match with both pandas covered in the bubble bath, and Lally said that the fur on their ears became spiky from the solution.

“It was great to see Xiao Qi Ji enjoy the scent in the same manner as his mother and with his mother,” Lally wrote.

Valerie Bonk

Valerie Bonk started working at WTOP in 2016 and has lived in Howard County, Maryland, her entire life. She's thrilled to be a reporter for WTOP telling stories on air. She works as both a television and radio reporter in the Maryland and D.C. areas. 

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