National Zoo Gets $4.4M Donation For Pandas | WAMU 88.5 - American University Radio

WAMU 88.5 : Morning Edition

Filed Under:

National Zoo Gets $4.4M Donation For Pandas

Play associated audio
The zoo's female panda, Mei Xiang, in 2010. The National Zoo will announce a $4.4 million donation to keep the zoo's panda program going today.
Smithsonian's National Zoo (http://www.flickr.com/photos/nationalzoo/5856565863/in/set-72157627014256050)
The zoo's female panda, Mei Xiang, in 2010. The National Zoo will announce a $4.4 million donation to keep the zoo's panda program going today.

Philanthropist David Rubenstein is making a $4.4 million donation to the National Zoo's giant panda program. David Rubenstein, who sits on the board of regents at the Smithsonian, is making the donation to fund the pandas for the next five years. He says he hopes the gift will result in the birth of more pandas to the zoo.

The donation, described as a holiday gift for the National Zoo and the city, will cover the expenses of running the giant panda reproduction program as well as panda research both here and in China. The gift comes at a time when corporate sponsorships have been harder to come by, even though they are one of the most popular attractions at the National Zoo.

"They are also an animal that has also attracted world-wide attention for quite some time," says Rubenstein. "So I thought as a symbolic type of gesture to say we ought to preserve animals whenever we can. The pandas are really a symbol of that."

Chi Chang, a zoo visitor from Columbia, Maryland says she thinks the donation is wonderful: "You know, panda has been such a sensation to the whole Washington area, even actually the whole world."

The pandas, meanwhile, remain largely indifferent. It’s the start of mating season for Giant Pandas and scientists at the National Zoo say Tien Tien has been showing signs of breeding behavior. His partner Mei Xiang, the female, is today hanging out in the sun.

The pandas are on loan to the zoo from China until 2015.

NPR

The Colorful, Blossoming D.C. Arts Scene In The 1950s, '60s

In 1965 the work of six local painters went on exhibit at the now-defunct Washington Gallery of Modern Art. The show launched a movement, and the painters' work now hangs in major museums. One of those artists, now 97, lives in Arlington, Va.
NPR

Cash For Halloween Candy? Dentists' Buyback Program Is Booming

If you're like many parents, by tomorrow morning you'll be facing a candy glut. One possible solution? Sell it to a dentist participating in a program that sends candy care packages to troops.
NPR

For This Colorado Voter, Oil And Gas Debate Plays Out On His Property

Knocking on doors in Colorado, Steve Inskeep asks Antionio Covello about the election. The successful Denver business owner, a conservative, weighs mineral rights, foreign policy and division at home.
NPR

Doppelnamers: When Your Digital Identity Is Also Someone Else's

Finding your email double or Twitter twin is easier than ever, with Web searches and social media reminding us how un-special our names really are. So how do you stand out when others share your name?

Leave a Comment

Help keep the conversation civil. Please refer to our Terms of Use and Code of Conduct before posting your comments.