Picture Archive: Baby Giant Panda Su-Lin, Circa 1936
The National Zoo is trying for a baby panda. Su-Lin was the country's first.
"Making an American debut in 1936," reads the photo's caption, "the first live panda to reach the West arrived in the arms of Ruth Harkness, who brought it from China's Sichuan Province. Chicago's zoo acquired the cub the following year. Named Su-Lin, it launched the present-day panda mania."
There are about 1,600 giant pandas left in the wild, according to the last census in 2004. In addition, more than 300 live in zoos and at breeding centers, mostly in China. Today there are 12 giant pandas in U.S. zoos—four at Zoo Atlanta, four at the San Diego Zoo, two at the Memphis Zoo, and two at the Smithsonian's National Zoo.
Harkness was a socialite and clothing