The Smithsonian’s National Zoo and Conservation Biology Institute’s baby panda has been named, thanks to the public. The 3-month-old giant panda cub received his name after the public submitted nearly 135,000 names and picked Xiao Qi Ji, which translates to “little miracle” in English.
Xiao Qi Ji was born on Aug. 21 to mother Mei Xiang and father Tian Tian. His birth was live-streamed on the Zoo’s Giant Panda Cam.
“Like many who have followed our giant panda cub since his birth last summer, I tune into the Giant Panda Cam from time to time. Watching Xiao Qi Ji always puts a smile on my face," said Steve Monfort, John and Adrienne Mars, Director of the Smithsonian’s National Zoo and Conservation Biology Institute.
"We are grateful that those who share in our joy have helped us pick the perfect name for our panda cub. Connecting people around the world with nature, whether in person or in this virtual setting, is a cornerstone of our mission to conserve and protect giant pandas for future generations.”
As part of an agreement with the China Wildlife Conservation Association, all cubs born at the Zoo move to China when they turn 4 years old. Although the zoo is temporarily closed due to the pandemic, people can still watch Xiao Qi Ji grow on the zoo’s Giant Panda Cam. Nearly 1.5 million people have tuned in thus far.