Best Underappreciated Panda
National Zoo, 3001 Connecticut Ave. NW, (202) 633-4888
“What is a father, a real father?” Dostoevsky wrote that line in The Brothers Karamazov, but it’s worth asking of Tian Tian, father to National Zoo superstar Bei Bei and sperm donor to mother Mei Xiang. Well, one of two sperm donors: Hui Hui, a giant panda living in China, failed to sire Bei Bei after his frozen semen was flown more than 7,000 miles across the globe last year. Zoologists thought Hui Hui would produce a more genetically valuable cub than Tian Tian, who’d already fathered Bao Bao and Tai Shan with Mei Xiang. What’s a father? Here’s an answer, Fyodor: Tian Tian.