Tian Tian, one of four the giant pandas at Washington D.C.’s Smithsonian National Zoo, is having the time of his life in the snowy storm.
Winter Storm Jonas could be largest in Washington D.C.’s history with up to two and a half feet of snow expected by Saturday night.
While the city’s residents are stuck in a snow-filled nightmare, Tian Tian seems be over the moon, tumbling and rolling through the white stuff.
The Smithsonian National Zoo posted a video of Tian Tian rolling around in piles of snow, complete with a panda emoji and a snow emoji. The New York Daily News reported that keepers caught adorable footage of the 19-year-old giant panda rolling around in the 13 inches of snow that covered the area.
— National Zoo (@NationalZoo) January 23, 2016
By noon on Saturday, the video had been viewed 1.7 million times on Facebook and shared more than 135,000 times. It had been retweeted more than 56,000 times.
— Jenny Hans (@JennyWendel) January 23, 2016
Tian Tian, whose name means “more and more,” was born at the China Research and Conservation Center for the Giant Panda in 1997. He weighs about 264 pounds and arrived in America in 2000.
Tian Tian is the father of two of the zoo’s panda cubs: 2-year-old Bao Bao and 5-month-old Bei Bei.
Bao Bao seems to have inherited her father’s love of snow. In 2015, the zoo shared a video of the cub’s first snow day that featured her somersaulting down a snowbank.
Bei Bei, on the other hand, has been more timid in his snow exploration. Winter Storm Jonas was his introduction to snow.
#BeiBei had his first introduction to snow today! Keepers took him outside to a small behind-the-scenes area to let him explore in a light dusting of snow for a few minutes while Mei Xiang ate her breakfast in her outdoor yard. Keepers said he wasn’t quite sure what to make of the powdery snow and made his way back inside quickly. #WeSaveSpecies
When panda cub Bei Bei was allowed to explore the snow on Friday, he was less excited, as zookeepers noted on Instagram.
“Keepers took him outside to a small behind-the-scenes area to let him explore in a light dusting of snow for a few minutes,” the post said. The little guy “wasn’t quite sure what to make of the powdery snow and made his way back inside quickly.”
Unfortunately, you won’t get to see Tian Tian’s snow dance in person. The National Zoo is closed through Sunday because of the severe weather. But hopefully, the adorable video above will hold you over.
They have also assured the public that “essential staff” will be present to care for him and the other animals during the snowstorm.
— Smithsonian (@smithsonian) January 23, 2016
The Quartz reports that giant pandas are from China, and the 2,000 giant pandas remaining in the wild are largely confined to the Qin Mountains in Shaanxi Province and the Min Mountains in Sichuan and Gansu provinces — both are regions that experience snow. The creatures are well equipped to deal with the cold weather, thanks to their thick fur coats.
Don’t worry about Tian Tian feeling cold. His thick fur keeps him warm even while he rolls around in it.
Giant pandas have thick woolly fur coats, perfect for keeping them warm even when rolling in snow, like Tian Tian. pic.twitter.com/nD8oHhYses
— National Zoo (@NationalZoo) January 22, 2016
Washington D.C. was slammed with two feet of snow during the winter storm. Snow began to fall early Friday and is expected to continue until Saturday evening.
[Photo by Samuel Corum/Anadolu Agency/Getty Images]