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Smithsonian Associates presents a conversation with David M. Rubenstein, co-founder of the Carlyle Group, philanthropist and former member of the Smithsonian’s Board of Regents, and Brandie Smith, the John and Adrienne Mars Director of the Smithsonian’s National Zoo and Conservation Biology Institute, Monday, Jan. 30, at 6:45 p.m. ET. The event will be held at the Smithsonian’s S. Dillon Ripley Center at 1100 Jefferson Dr. S.W. and simulcast on Zoom.
Rubenstein, who has played an instrumental role in supporting the Zoo’s giant panda program since 2011, and Smith will discuss the history of giant panda care at the Smithsonian, what scientists have learned throughout the decades-long program and what might be next for Xiao Qi Ji, Mei Xiang, Tian Tian and the future of the giant panda program.
Giant pandas are icons at the Smithsonian’s National Zoo and beloved around the world. Moreover, they represent how international collaboration and conservation science can save species. April 16, 2022, marked the 50th anniversary of the arrival of giant pandas Ling-Ling and Hsing-Hsing at the Zoo—the start of a decades-long giant panda program. The giant pandas have drawn millions of fans from around the world to the Zoo and millions more on the Panda Cam. They have given the Smithsonian an unparalleled opportunity to study giant panda behavior, health, reproduction, disease, nutrition and ecology.
Specifically, the program has allowed animal care staff and scientists to learn about panda breeding, pregnancy and cub development as well as study giant panda native habitats in China. Over decades of joint efforts with Chinese partners, the Zoo’s breeding, veterinary and ecological research has provided critical data for the management of giant pandas in human care and valuable insights for the conservation of wild populations.
Tickets for the Smithsonian Associates’ program are $25 for general admission and $20 for Smithsonian Associates members. To register, the public may visit the Smithsonian Associates’ website or call (202) 633-3030. Health and safety information for in-person programs is available.
For over 55 years, Smithsonian Associates has produced vibrant educational and cultural programming that brings the Smithsonian to life. Inspired by the Smithsonian’s research, collections and exhibitions nearly 1,000 public programs spark creativity and excite learning in people of all ages each year.
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