WATCH — Pandas + snow = FUN

Quinn Murphy
Story by Quinn Murphy and CBC Kids News • Published 2021-03-17 06:00

Sliding into our collective hearts

Here’s a question for you: What do Canadian kids and Chinese giant pandas have in common?

We both know how to have fun in the snow!

Washington, D.C., has had a white winter this year, and two of the residents at the Smithsonian’s National Zoo, Mei Xiang and Tian Tian, have been making the best of their “snow days.”

The animals were caught on camera in January frolicking in their winter environment, sliding down hills and somersaulting through the snow.

Click play to watch the pandas in action!

Pandas don’t hibernate

This behaviour is not uncommon in giant pandas, which are naturally playful and curious.

Unlike most bears, pandas do not hibernate — or go into a deep sleep — in the winter.

They have been observed enjoying snow days before at other zoos and also in the wild.

A panda bear slides down a snowy hill on its back.

One of the two pandas at the Smithsonian’s National Zoo launches into a slide. (Image credit: Smithsonian’s National Zoo)

A vulnerable species

These pandas are part of a breeding program with the China Wildlife and Conservation Association.

So far, they’ve given birth to four healthy cubs.

Three of the cubs have been returned to China, where they’ll be raised until they can join a breeding program like their parents.

Giant pandas are considered a vulnerable species by the International Union for the Conservation of Nature.

There are fewer than 2,000 individuals left in the wild.

TOP IMAGE CREDIT: Chip Somodevilla/Getty Images

About the Contributor

Quinn Murphy
Quinn Murphy
CBC Kids News Contributor
Quinn Murphy lives in Vancouver, B.C., with her parents, sisters and dog, Massi. She loves to spend her days photographing and writing about animals. One day she hopes to make a difference in wildlife conservation.

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