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50 years of giant pandas' presence in US celebrated

By YIFAN XU in Washington | CHINA DAILY | Updated: 2022-03-18 06:53
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The Smithsonian National Zoo in Washington kicked off a six-month celebration on Wednesday of the 50th anniversary of the arrival of two giant pandas, celebrating the close cooperation between China and the United States in panda exchanges and preservation.

The first pandas from China in the US-Ling Ling and Hsing Hsing-arrived at the Smithsonian National Zoo and Conservation Biology Institute on April 16, 1972.

"We are going to have six months of celebrations both online and at the zoo. People can come to see the cubs and the mom and dad," Brandie Smith, director of the national zoo, told China Daily.

Annalisa Meyer, the zoo's deputy director of communications, said the celebrations will run through Aug 27. The zoo will hold online events, as well as on-site events on April 8 and 21.

Smith said one of the highlights will be a "screening of the film, The Miracle Panda, which is our story of the giant pandas at the national zoo. And we also are going to have an event with the Chinese embassy. The embassy is going to come and provide treats for people as they see the pandas."

The documentary The Miracle Panda, by the Smithsonian Channel, will be screened for a limited time at the zoo's Visitor Center Theater on April 16 and 17.

Also on April 16, from 9 am to 2 pm, visitors can enjoy lion dance performances, panda-shaped Bao buns and calligraphy demonstrations. They also can speak with the zoo's scientists who study giant panda biology and ecology, and they can watch the pandas receive special treats.

The Giant Panda Family Tree Photo Gallery in the outdoor giant panda exhibit has already been set up, allowing visitors to explore the zoo's successful giant panda breeding program and to follow how cubs born at the zoo contribute to their species' survival in China.

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