National Zoo celebrates giant panda Mei Xiang’s 24th birthday

Giant panda Mei Xiang enjoys a cold treat outside at the Smithsonian’s National Zoo.

Giant panda Mei Xiang is seen at the Smithsonian’s National Zoo.

Mei Xiang
Giant panda Mei Xiang is seen sleeping in 2015.

Mei Xiang is a zoo favorite.

Giant panda Mei Xiang will turn 24.

Mei Xiang

On Friday, the Smithsonian’s National Zoo in Washington, D.C. will celebrate giant panda Mei Xiang’s 24th birthday.

Zoo officials said the public can go online Friday morning around 9 a.m. to view “the Giant Panda Cam” and watch her receive a “special ice cake.”

If you want to watch in person, you can apply for a free entry pass on the zoo’s website.

The zoo’s current pandas include Mei Xiang, Tian Tian and their male cub Xiao Qi Ji.

The first pandas arrived at the zoo in 1972, following President Richard Nixon’s state visit to China. The pandas were a gift from then Chinese Premier Zhou Enlai to the American people as a gesture of good will.

Back in April, the zoo celebrated 50 years of pandas living in the U.S.

Matt Small

Matt joined WTOP News at the start of 2020, after contributing to Washington’s top news outlet as an Associated Press journalist for nearly 18 years.

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