Bei Bei

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Bei Bei
Bei Bei during his public debut.
SpeciesGiant panda
Born (2015-08-22) August 22, 2015 (age 3)
ResidenceNational Zoo, Washington, D.C.
Parent(s)Mei Xiang, Tian Tian
Weight16 lb (7 kg) (as of December 10th, 2015)
Height14 in (36 cm) long (as of October 1, 2015)

Bei Bei (/b b/ BAY BAY; Chineset , s , p Bèibèi) is a male giant panda cub who lives at the National Zoo in Washington, D.C., in the United States. He is part of US-China relations panda diplomacy and will have to be sent to the People's Republic of China at the age of 4. He is the brother of both Tai Shan and Bao Bao.


Bei Bei was born on August 22, 2015, together with a twin that died 4 days after their birth. His mother is Mei Xiang.[1][2][3] His father, via artificial insemination, is National Zoo panda Tian Tian.[4] As of October 7, 2015 he weighed 5 lbs (1.8 kg).[5]


On September 25, 2015, five weeks after the birth of the baby panda, he was named "Bei Bei" by Michelle Obama and Peng Liyuan, the first ladies of the United States and the People's Republic of China, respectively. The name was selected from a list of suggestions by officials from the National Zoo and the Wolong National Nature Reserve in China's Sichuan Province. The National Zoo preferred the name Ping Ping (, "peace"), while "Bei Bei" was the staff choice at Wolong;[2][6] doubled names are usually chosen because they are diminutive in Chinese. The first ladies revealed the name in both English and Mandarin, assisted by third-grade students from a Chinese-immersion elementary school in Washington, D.C. The name means "precious" or "treasure", the same as his 2-year-old sister Bao Bao.[1] Zoo director Dennis Kelly admitted that the name is likely to give rise to jokes and wordplay linking the name to "baby".[3]

Before the naming ceremony, Kelly said, "It's a very exciting day because it celebrates more than four decades of research and success on the giant panda, and to have it recognized by the two first ladies is an honor."[6]


Bei Bei made his first public viewing on January 16, 2016.[7] After 4 years of age the panda will be sent to China to live.[8] Currently he and his mother can be viewed via a panda-cam at the National Zoo.[9]


  1. ^ a b "US and China first ladies name US panda cub Bei Bei". BBC News.
  2. ^ a b "Aww! Panda Cub Bei Bei Is a 'Precious Treasure'".
  3. ^ a b Julia Zorthian. "Panda Cub Named Bei Bei at National Zoo". Time.
  4. ^ "'It's a boy!' the National Zoo says of surviving giant panda cub". Washington Post. August 28, 2015. Retrieved 1 October 2015.
  5. ^ "Panda cub Bei Bei at National Zoo opens eyes at just under 7 weeks old". ABC-7 News. October 7, 2015. Retrieved 17 October 2015.
  6. ^ a b Michael E. Ruane (September 25, 2015). "National Zoo's giant panda cub is officially named Bei Bei". The Washington Post.
  7. ^ "National Zoo's giant panda cub makes debut". CNN.
  8. ^ "First ladies reveal panda cub name: Bei Bei". Seattle Post-Intelligencer. Archived from the original on September 27, 2015.
  9. ^ "Bei Bei Choo! Cub sneezes on panda cam". WUSA-9. September 29, 2015. Retrieved 30 September 2015.

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