Art by Mei Xiang
Native to central China, giant pandas have come to symbolize vulnerable species. As few as 1,864 giant pandas live in their native habitat, while another 600 pandas live in zoos and breeding centers around the world. The Smithsonian's National Zoo and Conservation Biology Institute is a leader in giant panda conservation.
Mei Xiang (may-SHONG), is an adult female, was born July 22, 1998, at the China Research and Conservation Center for the Giant Panda in Wolong, Sichuan Province. Her name means "beautiful fragrance." She is the mother of Xiao Qi Ji (SHIAU-chi-ji), a male cub, born Aug. 21, 2020. His name, Xiao Qi Ji, translates as “little miracle” in English.