The National Zoo is reopening next Friday, May 21, after nearly six months, which means you can finally see baby giant panda Xiao Qi Ji in real life. So long as you score a reservation, that is.
All visits to the Zoo will require a timed entry pass. Reservations for passes open this Friday morning at 12:30 PM. But for the panda exhibit, there are special, additional reservations. “Due to safety procedures,” the Zoo says in a statement, “access to the giant panda exhibit is extremely limited to 620 guests per day, and visitors are asked to limit their giant panda viewing to 15 minutes.” You have to try for the panda pass on site, the day you visit.
Here’s a rundown of all the new animals you’ll be able to see once the Zoo reopens.
Xiao Qi Ji the Giant Panda Cub
The eight-month-old giant panda cub was welcomed into the Smithsonian family on August 21, 2020. His favorite treat is diluted honey water, and he loves to play with his mom, Mei Xiang.
Mitas the Amur tiger
Not much is known about Mitas, but he is the third Amur tiger to arrive at the Zoo. He joins other Amur tigers Nikita and Paval in the Great Cats exhibit.
Barbie and Cooper, the Przewalski’s horse mother-son duo
Barbie and Cooper arrived at the Zoo in December 2020 and are still getting used to their new environment. The mother and son enjoy running together and lying down in their favorite resting spot.
Onyx the Komodo dragon
Onyx also moved into his new home in December 2020. Nicknamed “Junior,” he has become known for his resemblance to the Zoo’s older Komodo dragon, Murphy. Onyx is the first young Komodo dragon that the Zoo has held in more than two decades.
Brienne the Andean bear
Brienne reunited with her grandmother Billie Jean at the Smithsonian in September 2020. The daring Andean bear loves running along the rocks in her habitat and taking naps in the tree canopy.
Lucy and Gally the American bison
The bison friends arrived in March 2020. Kind of like sisters, Lucy and Gally have differing personalities but love playing together.
Charger the California sea lion
Charger is the newest addition to the Zoo’s sea lion crew. He enjoys playing around Celia, another sea lion pup, and her mother, Calli.
Poplar the North American beaver
Nicknamed “Poppy,” and a buddy of existing resident beavers Aspen and Chipper, the busy North American beaver loves to get up early and explore her new habitat.
An un-named wallaby joey
It is believed that the new joey was born in August 2019, shortly before its father, Sydney, passed away. When he (or she) isn’t tucked away in mama’s pouch, the little guy (or gal) enjoys playing with the rest of the mob.
An un-named lesser kudu calf
Not much is known about the lesser kudu calf that was born on March 28, but the calf is currently adjusting to his new environment with his parents, Rogue (7) and Garrett (10), and his older brothers, Kushukuru and Toba, born in 2019.
Correction: A previous version of this article stated that reservations for timed entry passes opened 12:01 AM on May 14, instead of 12:30 PM on May 14.