Watch Sloth Bears Fight in Heavy Snow at D.C. Zoo: 'Wintry Wrestle'

Heavy snow in Washington, D.C. saw zoo animals awaken to a blanket of white, with residents fighting and frolicking in the snow.

The Smithsonian Zoo enjoyed its first flurry of the year as temperatures plunged, but tensions heated up.

The zoo's Twitter account shared clips of the animals amid the winter wonderland, with two male sloth bears, named Niko and Deemak, going head-to-head on the ice.

The bears, which can grow up to 6 feet tall and weigh 300 pounds, grappled and snapped at each other while standing on their back legs.

The zoo said: "Everyone is getting into the #SnowDay spirit! In D.C., sloth bears Niko and Deemak had a wintry wrestle while American Bison Lucy and Gally and Asian elephant Swarna grazed peacefully."

In nearby Virginia a cheetah mom, Rosalie, and her cubs got a taste of fresh snow at the institute's headquarters, in Front Royal, Virginia.

The zoo added "Rosalie and her cubs awoke to a snowy surprise!"

While big cats, and elephants, traditionally hail from tropical climes, both species took the chilly turn in their stride.

The zoo, which was closed to the public due to the "inclement weather," captured the animals' joyous reactions and shared them in Twitter, aptly captioning the capers #snowday.

Twitter photo from The Smithsonian Zoo.
Twitter photo from The Smithsonian Zoo of their wallaby, Bennet. The zoo was closed due to heavy snow. @NationalZoo

Meanwhile, one of the star residents, giant panda cub Xiao Qi Ji, got stuck in—quite literally.

The zoo captured the 16-month-old playing in the snow, saying: "New year, new Xiao Qi Ji! In 2021, our giant panda cub was a little wary during his first encounter with snow.

"This morning, the 16 m.o. plowed face-first into the fresh powder, rolled around and relished 2022's first #SnowDay."

The clip has been watched more than 100,000 views since being shared on Twitter, as people gushed over the adorable panda.

It's not the first time Xiao Qi Ji, which means "Little Miracle" in Mandarin, has seen snow, with the bear getting his first taste last year. His reaction this year stands in stark contrast to his inaugural meeting with the white stuff.

Twitter photo from The Smithsonian Zoo.
Twitter photo from The Smithsonian Zoo. Cow, Rose, enjoys a frosty morning in D.C. after heavy snow. @NationalZoo

Xiao Qi Ji, born in August 2020, first encountered snow on January 31 last year.

The zoo shared his milestone with fans, saying: "As the flakes were falling, the panda team brought Xiao Qi Ji out of the indoor enclosure to a snow-covered patio behind-the-scenes.

"He seemed unsure about it at first and stood there for a moment to take it all in. Keeper Stacey Tabellario built him his own panda-cub-sized snowman. He sniffed it before taking a frosty bite.

"He explored the area for about five minutes before keepers took him back inside. Although his trip was a short one, he seemed to have a good time."

Commenting on both clips, Hunter Baker remarked: "The sloth bears love playing in the snow."

Delia B'Delia simply said: "Animals in the snow."

Susan Decker joked: "It hasn't *really* snowed in DC until the panda rolls at the @nationalzoo."

Elizabeth Harris raved: "I love watching animals playing in the snow, especially for their first time!"

Joel Gwadz wrote: "Everyone loves a SNOW DAY!"

While Katie Jones added: "This is the best part of snow days."

Other animals at The Smithsonian that got a taste of snowflakes were a cow named Rose, and a wallaby, usually found in the warmer climes of Australia.

"Today's #SnowDay brought snowflakes that stayed on our Bennett's Wallaby's nose and eyelashes!" the zoo tweeted.

A winter storm battered the mid-Atlantic area earlier in the week, with the National Weather Service reporting 8.5 inches of snow fell in D.C.

The heavy drifts grounded President Joe Biden's helicopter, forcing him to drive to the White House instead.

Sloth bears fight at The Smithsonian Zoo.
Sloth bears fight at The Smithsonian Zoo. the animals, named Niko and Deemak., went head to head in the snow. @NationalZoo