WASHINGTON (WUSA9) - Thousands packed the National Zoo today on Monday's beautiful Labor Day.
The giant pandas were the main attraction. Visitors were thrilled to learn they're now off the endangered species list.
"We have come straight to the panda exhibit because our two year old is super hyped about seeing pandas and she's even got a panda hat and panda toys so this is our first stop to see the pandas before they take a nap," said Anna Chesnut.
A conservation group reports the giant panda population rose 17% over the last decade thanks to an increase in available habitat. As a result, the giant panda has been downgraded to vulnerable.
"I think that's great news anytime you find that there's something we're doing right to keep these animals growing. I'm excited," said Greg Chesnut.
Monday was the first time the Roland family has been to the National Zoo.
Chris Roland said, "I'm most looking forward to relaxing with family," said Chris Roland.
"We live in Frederick and it's a beautiful day and a long weekend so we decided to come out and see the animals," said Charlotte Roland.
There are now more than 1,800 pandas in the wild in China.