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Watch: Baby Panda Doing His Best, Despite Total Lack of Athleticism

Giant pandas may be known for their playful demeanor and love of jungle gyms, but that doesn’t necessarily mean their hand-eye coordination is always up to the challenge. Earlier this year, the Smithsonian National Zoo posted a blooper reel of some of their panda Xiao Qi Ji’s best moments.

The video shows Xiao Qi Ji repeatedly flopping out of his play structure, rolling down hills, and otherwise failing to remain upright. Sometimes the falls seem absolutely unplanned. Other times, he looks like he might be working on a dance routine. Throughout, Xiao Qi Ji seems undeterred by his lack of athletic success. Instead, falling down seems to be half the fun.

Rather than worried, zoo keepers are pleased to see Xiao Qi Ji flailing around so much. It’s a sign that the young panda is comfortable playing and entertaining himself without his mother, Mei Xiang, present. Now almost three years old, Xiao Qi Ji will soon be ready to live on his own.

“His growing confidence and comfortability with spending time alone are encouraging signs that he’s growing up,” the zoo wrote in a recent post.

Thanks to conservation efforts and zoo breeding programs—like the one at the Smithsonian National Zoo—giant pandas have recently been upgraded from “endangered” to “vulnerable” status. In the wild, they live predominantly in southern China, where they have few natural predators but suffer from severe habitat loss. Pandas must eat between 25 and 85 pounds of bamboo each day to stay alive, according to the World Wildlife Fund. Protecting the bamboo forests in which they live has so far been a successful strategy in protecting the giant panda.

As Xiao Qi Ji continues to grow more adventurous, you can likely expect more adorable videos to come. (Monitor the Smithsonian National Zoo’s website and social media pages for updates.) Can’t wait that long for more cute animal videos? Check out our compilation of our favorite animal webcams to get you through the week.

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