News & Politics

It’s a Baby-Panda Boy! The National Zoo Had a Gender Reveal for Its Newest Resident

Photograph courtesy of Smithsonian’s National Zoo.

A Monday palate cleanser after a weekend of hard news: The giant baby panda is a boy, the National Zoo announced today.

Unlike humans, it’s tough to gauge the gender of a panda at birth, so Zoo veterinarians took a DNA swab from the cub’s cheek at his first vet exam last month. The swab was then sent to the Center for Conservation Genomics, where scientists studied the genetic material to determine the baby’s gender. The Zoo also reports that the six-week-old cub is almost 14 pounds, and is just beginning to open his eyes. His name has not yet been announced.

And yes, the baby bear had a reveal of his own: Giant panda papa Tian Tien painted an abstract work of art using blue paint—no pyrotechnics necessary. Perhaps we could learn a thing or two from our furry friends. Watch the reveal here:

Daniella Byck
Lifestyle Editor

Daniella Byck joined Washingtonian in 2022. She was previously with Outside Magazine and lives in NoMa.