We love the Chinese-native black and white bears. From their cute faces to adorable antics, we can’t seem to get enough of them. What is with these large balls of fluff that makes us want to wrap them in a hug and take them home with us?
Here are a few of the most famous pandas from around the world:
Back in 2006, a viral video of a sneezing panda took over the internet. That baby panda’s name is Chi Chi. The adorable sneeze that surprised the mother panda whilst she was contentedly chewing on a snack is probably one of the most adorable things we saw in 2004. The initial clip actually came from a wildlife documentary by Queensland-based wildlife filmmakers Lesly Hammond and Jenny Walsh.
It was so successful, in fact, that an Australian-Chinese co-production was borne from it. Sneezing Baby Panda: The Movie was created and based around Chi Chi. While the film was a massive flop, you cannot deny that the original clip of Chi Chi is still up there in the list of cutest things we’ve seen — even in 2021 … but maybe nowadays we would’ve fit baby Chi Chi with a surgical mask.
The first panda to ever be born in South Korea is also a viral video star — not for her monumental title of being the first born panda of South Korea, but because she would not let go of the zookeeper’s leg. She was only six months old when the video was taken, and that was in January 2021, so we’re sure that there are a ton of adorable antics Fu Bao has gotten up to since then.
Speaking of Sneezing Baby Panda: The Movie, Chi Chi was obviously too old at the time of production to play herself so they had another panda play her. Tai Shan was the panda that played Chi Chi in the flop of a film, but just for starring in a movie, he belongs on this Most Famous Pandas list. This panda was born in the United States’ National Zoo in 2005.
He was the panda of the moment in 2005 as he also starred in an Animal Planet documentary called, Baby Panda’s First Year. The show followed Tai Shan as he acted like, well, a baby panda. In 2010, he left D.C. with a fellow panda, Mei Lan, and has been living in captivity in the Sichuan province ever since.
It’s not often that we see pandas in wintery climates, so seeing Bao Bao, a panda based in Washington, D.C., roll around in the freshly fallen snow was a great treat! It was Bao Bao’s first snow day, and she spent the snowy morning tumbling down the hill of her outdoor enclosure, climbing trees, and bouncing on her mother Mei Xiang.
This panda is known as the oldest giant panda born in captivity. She was born in 1980 and was 37 when she died on September 13, 2017. Basi was even the original inspiration of the mascot Panpan for the 1990 Beijing Asian Games.
If you haven’t noticed yet, most of the pandas on this list are females, well, Pan Pan has X and Y chromosomes. This giant panda is male! He was held in captivity in Chengdu, Sichuan’s provincial capital. He sired more than a quarter of the world’s captive-bred panda population, earning him the nickname “Panda Grandpa.” He died in 2016 at the age of 31, as the oldest male giant panda in captivity. He has more than 130 descendants carrying his genes.
Tao Tao’s popularity at his zoo earned him the unofficial title of “Ambassador of Harmonious Zoology.” Tao Tao even served as China’s ambassador to the island of Guam for a brief amount of time. Guam’s population is roughly equal that of the number of persons displaced for the panda park. Sadly, this popular panda died in 2008 at the ripe old age of 36.
This remarkable panda is actually the first giant panda born in captivity and released into the wild. Xiang Xiang, another male panda on our list, went through a rigorous three-year training period that equipped him with the skills that would help him survive in the wilderness,. Unfortunately, he was found dead no more than a year after his release. It is suspected that a fall from a tree caused his death.
If you didn’t know, pandas are pretty clumsy animals and that probably adds to our panda obsession. But that’s also why China puts so much effort into conservation efforts to save them from further endangerment. As you can see from our list, they’re precious animals and must be protected at all cost!
Also, here are a few more fun facts about pandas that may interest you.