Smithsonian fans cast more than 90,000 votes, narrowing our field from 24 contenders to one final winner. We're pleased to announce the champion of the Smithsonian Summer Showdown, the one thing that says "SMITHSONIAN" like nothing else: Bao Bao the Giant Panda Cub!
Each of our museums and research centers, along with the National Zoo, picked one iconic item as its contender in the Showdown. These titans of the Smithsonian battled head-to-head through three rounds of voting.
Thank you to the Smithsonian fans from all across the country who weighed in and voted for their favorites. All of the contestants fought valiantly, and there were some close calls along the way — but in the end there could only be ONE winner.
Almost a year old, Bao Bao is often seen climbing trees in her yard. Her birth via artificial insemination is a conservation success story and builds on the National Zoo’s leading scientific reproduction research to increase the population of the endangered Giant Panda, which numbers as few as 1,600 in the wild.
You can visit Bao Bao and other fascinating animals at the Smithsonian National Zoo.