Our Mascot - Chi Chi the Panda
Chi Chi the Panda is a mascot for Chi
Wellness Clinic. We hope to convey our passion to care for patients
and our commitment to enhance their precious well-being. In 2005, Chi
Chi the Panda who wears a T-shirt with a lotus flower, was christened
as our mascot.
The Panda in Ancient China
The scientific name of the giant panda is
It means simply "panda footed black and
white creature". Some scientists suggest a small bear like animal,
Agriarctos, that lived in the mid Miocene (about 3 million years ago),
is an ancestor of the giant panda. The fossils of the present day giant
panda can be found from the Early Pleistocene. There may have been as
many as 4 species of Ailuropoda. The distribution of giant pandas
was much more extensive in the Pleistocene.
The giant panda is called Xiong Mao in China today, meaning bear-like cat.
During the Western Chou dynasty (over 3000 yrs ago), it was called Pi.
In ancient China the giant panda was considered rare as well as a symbol of
might and bravery. When the Empress Dowager Bo's (179-163 BC) tomb was
opened 2100 yrs after her death, a giant panda skull was found at
her side. A historian noted that in the Western Han Dynasty (206 BC - 24 AD)
the emperor had a garden of rare species; the giant panda was his most
Introducing the Panda to the West
The giant panda was not known outside of China until a French missionary and
naturalist, Pere Armand David, was brought a dead specimen by hunters on
March 23 1869. In 1870, Alphonse Milne-Edwards received Pere David¡¯s
specimen. Upon dissecting it, he placed the giant panda in a new genus,
Ailuropoda melanoleuca. He later renamed the giant panda Ailuropus
(panda-like). In 1914, the first westerner to see a live panda was a
German zoologist, Hugo Weigold. This set off a string of western hunters
seeking a giant panda pelt. Among the first western hunters to kill a
giant panda were Kermit and Theodore Roosevelt in 1928. They were the sons
of President Theodore Roosevelt. On April 24 1939, China issued an order
that prohibited the capture of giant pandas.
Ruth Harkness was the first
person to introduce a live panda cub (Su ling) to the west. Her
adventure can be read in her book "The Lady and the Panda." The
panda cub was brought
the Brookfield Zoo in Chicago in 1936. Three other pandas were captured
and taken to the U.S in the 1930's, Mei Mei,
Pandora, and Pan. Pao Pei was the last panda that was
captured and exported by a western nation.
Chi-Chi the Panda arrived at the London Zoo in 1961. In 1972, when
China was recognized by the U.S., two pandas were sent as a gift to the U.S. (Hsing Hsing and Ling Ling) at the
National Zoo in Washington D.C.
When the World Wildlife Foundation (WWF) was formed in 1961, the WWF adopted the
panda as its logo. The black and white panda has since become a
symbol for the conservation movement as a whole.
Tian Tian (top) with Mei Xiang
New Baby at the National Zoo in DC
Shan (tie-SHON) was born early in the morning on July 9, 2005 at the
National Zoo. At Tai Shan's first exam on August 2, we learned that the
cub was a boy. He was the first baby of Mei Xiang and Tian Tian (see
below). He weighed 1.82 pounds and had a total body length of 12 inches.
On January 8, he weighed 28 pounds and was 37 inches long¡ªquite a rapid
growth rate. More than 200,000 votes were cast to name the cub in China.
The winning name, Tai Shan ("peaceful mountain"), was given to the cub
when he was 100 days old, on October 17.
Tai Shan's parents
are the National Zoo's second pair of giant pandas from China. The mom is
Mei Xiang (may-SHONG, 235 lb, born on July 22, 1998), and the dad is Tian
Tian (t-YEN t-YEN, 275 lb, born on 8/27/97). Both were born at the Wolong
Panda Base (see below). It is hard to tell giant pandas apart, but Mei
Xiang and Tian Tian do have different markings. Mei Xiang has a pale
black bar across the bridge of her nose.
Efforts to Save Panda in China
A one day old baby (Xiao Jiao)
weighs 6.4 ounces and is the fifth panda to be born at the Chengdu Panda
Breeding Research Base in September 6, 2002. Twelve pandas were born in
China during 2002. 110 pandas live in captivity throughout the world and
less than 1000 live in the wild. Chinese scientists are trying to use
cloning technology to help save these highly endangered animals.
A baby panda cuddles with its mommy
at the Wolong Panda Research Center in Sichuan, China in September 7,
2001. A panda pregnancy can last 70-180 days. The destruction of their
environment, hunting by humans, and their low birth rate make things look
bleak for the future of pandas.
A baby panda receives gentle care a
the Wolong Nature Reserve Panda Base in China. The Chinese government has
made tremendous efforts to save the pandas from extinction.
Click to hear the sound of a giant panda.
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Provider of Acupuncture, Herb, Massage & Tai-Chi in Massachusetts