One Cool Thing: Pandas No Longer Endangered

Image: Smithsonian National Zoo

Chinese conservation officials have announced that giant pandas are no longer endangered. Their status has been downgraded to “vulnerable,” and the international conservation community is celebrating. “Thanks to decades of collaboration between the Chinese government, local communities, companies, and NGOs, the giant panda’s future is more secure,” said Colby Loucks, WWF’s Vice President for Wildlife Conservation. 1,800 giant pandas now roam the wild, up from 1,100 in 2000.

 

While China’s conservation community celebrates its big win, the Smithsonian National Zoo in Washington, DC, is celebrating a panda miracle of its own. 22-year-old giant panda Mei ­Xiang was thought to be too old to have a cub but gave birth to Xiao Qi Ji, or “little miracle” in August. Now, he’s making his first public debut. If you want to see the adorable young cub, get to the National Zoo ASAP; when he turns four, Xiao Qi Ji will be shipping out to live with his siblings, Bei Bei, Bao Bao, and Tai Shan, in China.

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