The birth of Xiao Qi Ji – its Mandarin name – was live streamed from The Smithsonian’s National Zoo and Conservation Biology Institute in Washington DC on August 21. Since then he has gained an army of fans on the zoo’s giant panda cam.
Giant pandas are an international symbol of endangered wildlife and hope, and Xiao Qi Ji’s birth offered the world a much-needed moment of joy amidst the COVID-19 pandemic.
Nearly 135,000 voted to name him Xiao Qi Ji, picking from a shortlist of four names.
The zoo said the the panda’s name reflects the extraordinary circumstances under which he was born and celebrates the collaboration between colleagues who strive to conserve this species.
Xiao Qi Ji tipped the scales at over 10lb when weighed, above. The endangered species can grow to 300lb.