Animals at the Smithsonian National Zoo Enjoy the snowy days! Children’s news article

The bison at the National Zoo took the snow in stride. (National Zoo)

The first winter storm of the season — which brought important Snowfall in the Washington, DC area on January 3, 2022 – couldn’t have come at a better time for residents of the Smithsonian National Zoo. As the park is closed to visitors due to the inclement weather, the animals were able to welcome the New Year with several days of snow all to themselves.

the resident sloth bears, Niko and Deemak, took advantage of the soft white powder to practice their struggle skills. the bison, kept warm by their thick coats, enjoyed the freezing but beautiful scenery while chewing hay. Even the elephant briefly adventure to experience freezing weather.

However, it was the little giant panda Xiao Qi Ji who seemed to be enjoying the winter. Wonderland most. In the pictures Captured by zoo officials, the adorable 16-month-old is seen somersaulting through the snow, before sliding headfirst down a small hill. He then joins his mother, Mei Xiang, for a playful meeting frolic in the snow.

Giant panda cub Xiao Qi Ji playing in the snow. (National Zoo)

Xiao Qi Ji, which translates to “little miracle”, is the fourth surviving cub of Mei Xiang and Tian Tian. The adult giant pandas, which have been at the national zoo since 2000, are on loan from the Chinese government. They were program to return to China in 2020. However, the national zoo was able to obtain a three-year license extension for their stay.

In December 2023, Mei Xiang, Tian Tian and Xiao Qi Ji will all depart for Wolong National Nature Reserve in China’s Sichuan Province. The 500,000-acre wildlife reserve and research center is home to more than 150 giant pandas, along with other endangered animals such as snow leopards, golden monkeys, red pandas and white-lipped deer.

Resources: Smithsonianmag.com, National Zoo.