Smithsonian National Zoo’s baby panda, Xiao Qi Ji, is making quite an impression on zookeepers. His latest achievement was recognizing his own name when keepers called out to him.
The baby panda was born to its mother, Mei Xiang in August 2020. The 22-year-old girl is the oldest panda in the United States to give birth. Furthermore, the panda cub’s birth marks the first time a United States Zoo has successfully induced a pregnancy artificially.
The zoo posted a video on their YouTube channel with the caption, “On Monday, March 1, 2021, Xiao Qi Ji’s mother, Mei Xiang, was ready to come inside, but he was all the way at the front of the yard.”
Continuing further, “Assistant curator of giant pandas Laurie Thompson called his name, and a few moments later he trotted up to the keeper.”
The adorable panda cub was able to recognize his own name! Isn’t that amazing?
Moreover, Xiao Qi Ji will be supervised until he is around a year and a half old. Zookeepers are currently thrilled with the progress the baby panda is making.
“I noticed him drinking water out of the basin in Mei Xiang’s den,” the zoo also mentioned in a Press Release. “He has also lapped water from the free-flowing pipe.”
According to the release, Xiao Qi Ji loves to try different kinds of foods! He loved the sweet cooked potato, but the same enthusiasm wasn’t shown towards apple sauce and bananas.
Another press release issued by the zoo states, “On a typical morning, Xiao Qi Ji spends about an hour and a half playing.”