The National Zoo recently received a donation of $4.5 million, which will fund professional fellowships to work with the giant pandas at the Smithsonian’s National Zoo in Washington, DC. According to the zoo, the generous donation made by David M. Rubenstein, will also be used to fund giant panda conservation efforts in China, reproductive science, upgrades to the National Zoo habitats and public education.
As a David M. Rubenstein Fellow, you would have the opportunity to work first-hand with the zoo’s famous giant panda couple, Tian Tian and female Mei Xiang. Until now the pair have only produced one cub, Tai Shan, via artificial insemination in 2005, and it seems unlikely that Mei Xiang would have another cub. Researchers are seeking modern biomedical tools to help Mei Xiang become pregnant. This is just one goal of the Smithsonian Conservation Biology Institute’s new five-year science plan established with their Chinese colleagues from the China Wildlife Conservation Association under the new grant.
Tian Tian and Mei Xiang are in desperate need of a love doctor, so be sure to follow the National Zoo’s Fellowships page for announcements about the new David M. Rubenstein Fellows program!