Giant Pandas at the National Zoo

Giant Panda Mei Xiang or Tian Tian - Walking

Giant Panda Mei Xiang or Tian Tian - Walking

By far the most popular attraction at the National Zoo is the Giant Pandas exhibit. Giant Pandas come from the bamboo forests of central China. Two Giant Pandas, Mei Xiang and Tian Tian, are on loan to the National Zoo for a period of 10 years.

These cute, huge and absolutely distinctive bears sleep, eat and prance around in the Fujifilm Giant Panda Habitat, an area of over 12,000 square feet provided for them in Washington DC.

Giant Panda Mei Xiang or Tian Tian - Waking From a Restful Nap

Giant Panda Mei Xiang or Tian Tian - Waking From a Restful Nap

These highly recognizable animals have black, rounded ears, an oval black area around each eye, black rear legs and black front legs with a black band that extends from the front legs up over the back. The rump and head are white resulting in a bear covered about 50% in white fur and 50% in black fur.

The attractive mammals eat a diet of little other than bamboo. This is a low energy food source, so these large animals must eat quite a bit of it. And this diet leaves one of the cutest animals in the world with little energy for running, jumping, chasing and fighting. But these large, docile bamboo eaters can and will defend themselves and do occasionally wrestle.

Mei Xiang and Tian Tian are on loan from the China Wildlife Conservation Association.

Click National Zoo to see the StationStart.com entry about the Smithsonian National Zoological Park.

Closest Metro Station: Two Metro Stations are near the Zoo. The pedestrian entrance to the National Zoo on Connecticut Avenue NW is the same distance from both the Cleveland Park Metro Station and the Woodley Park-Zoo/Adams Morgan Metro Station. The main difference is that the walk from the Cleveland Park Metro Station is fairly level while the walk from the Woodley Park-Zoo/Adams Morgan Metro Station is definitely uphill.

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