WASHINGTON (WDVM) — It seems like it was only yesterday when panda cub Xiao Qi Ji was born at the National Zoo. Now, he’s 10 months old and is learning new behaviors, like how to stand up and interact with the zoo staff.
According to an update from the National Zoo, zookeepers have been working with him early in the morning after his mother, Mei Xiang, goes outside. They use a training tool to teach him husbandry behavior, otherwise known as human-animal relationships. Participation in the training is voluntary, but Xiao Qi Ji likes to get his reward of his favorite food, cooked sweet potato, when he participates.
For now, zookeepers are able to interact with Xiao Qi Ji in the same space, but eventually they’ll have to interact with him through mesh, like the adult pandas, as he gets older.
You can see it all in action now that the National Zoo is open again. Admission is free and the Zoo is open daily from 8 a.m. until 4 p.m.
Video and photo credit: The National Zoo.