Here's what we know about DC’s new giant pandas: Bao Li and Qing Bao

D.C.’s National Zoo will welcome two new giant pandas named Bao Li and Qing Bao before the end of 2024. Here’s what we know about the new pandas!

How Do You Say The Names Of The New Pandas?

Bao Li  宝力 (pronounced BOW-lee) MaleBorn Aug. 4, 2021

Qing Bao 青宝 (pronounced ching-BOW)FemaleBorn Sept. 12, 2021

What Do The Names of the New DC Pandas Mean? 

2-year-old male giant panda Bao Li in his habitat at Shenshuping Base in China on May 16, 2024.

BAO LI: In Mandarin Chinese, "Bao" means 'precious' and 'treasure'. "Li" refers to vitality and strength. Put together, "Bao Li" means an active and vital power. He was born Aug. 4, 2021, at the China Conservation and Research Center for the Giant Panda in Sichuan to father An An and mother Bao Bao.

National Zoo officials said Bao Li’s mother was born at the zoo in 2013, and his grandparents Tian Tian and Mei Xiang lived at the zoo from 2000 to 2023. It was Mei Xiang and Tian Tian, along with their cub Xiao Qi Ji, who left the zoo in November.

2-year-old female giant panda Qing Bao in his habitat at Dujiangyan Base in China on May 17, 2024.

QING BAO: Her name means 'green' and 'treasure' in Mandarin Chinese. 'Qing' evokes the lush and mountainous habitat of pandas. 'Bao', which means 'precious' and 'treasure', reflects how cherished and adored she is. She was born Sept. 12, 2021.

Will The New Pandas Be Quarantined?

The zoo said that the new pandas will be quarantined in the panda house for a minimum of 30 days upon their arrival. The date for the pandas' public debut will be announced when their care team feels they are ready.

Where Will The New Pandas Live In DC?

 A rendering of an upgraded panda enclosure at D.C.’s National Zoo

The new pandas will take over the old panda house Smithsonian’s National Zoo and Conservation Biology Institute officials say.

Indoor renovations to modernize and upgrade the giant panda enclosure are being made ahead of their arrival. New climbing structures, water features and rockwork will be added. Zoo officials say the new features encourage the bears to exercise and play. A new ventilation system will also be installed to improve the air quality and temperature control. The enclosure’s evacuation network is also being upgraded.

Will The DC Zoo Panda Cam Be Used Again?

The Zoo said it will also upgrade its Giant Panda Cam with state-of-the-art technology.

How Long Will The New Pandas Stay in DC?

A research and breeding agreement with the Chinese runs through April 2034 and, like previous ones, says any cubs born at the zoo will move to China by age 4, according to the announcement. The zoo will pay a $1 million annual fee to the China Wildlife Conservation Association to support research and conservation efforts in China.

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Qing Bao (left) and Bao Li (right) will take over the panda house at the Smithsonian’s National Zoo before the end of the year.

The Associated Press contributed to this report.