National Geographic News: Pandas in the United States

Panda photograph
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Mei Xiang (left) and Tian Tian were born at the China Research and Conservation Center for the Giant Panda, Wolong, Sichuan ProvinceTian Tian on August 27, 1997, and Mei Xiang on July 22, 1998. Tian Tian means "more and more." Mei Xiang means "beautiful fragrance."

They are the zoo's second pair of pandas. The first, a gift from China to the United States in 1972, died of old age.

Researchers are studying Tian Tian's and Mei Xiang's 24-hour activity patterns, foraging skills, and bamboo variety preferences.

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Photograph by Jessie Cohen, Smithsonian National Zoo
 
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