Washington Zoo Packed for Panda Cub Debut [Video]

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Washington has a new talking point that is taking the city by storm. The Washington Zoo recently debuted a 4-month Panda cub which has made the zoo packed with visitors to see the new baby animal.

Bao Bao is the name of the little girl who has been a major news headline for the zoo ever since her birth back in August.  The cub was shown off at the Giant Bear Habitat to fans greedy to catch a glimpse of her. She was with her mom a panda named, Mei Xiang and is doing very well adjusting, according to Annalisa Meyer a spokeswoman for the zoo.

Meyer said that Bao Bao is sleeping a lot right now which is what pandas normally do and that she is doing great.

The Washington Zoo is also doing pretty good these days after debuting Bao Bao. They have had a flood of visitors to their grounds, so many that they have to control the amount of people allowed into the area were viewing of the panda cub is possible.

The zoo reports that they are letting 60 to 80 people in at a time and are moving them through in ten-minute intervals. They also report that they have visitors lining up to see Bao Bao before 8 a.m. in the morning.

The cub’s name means “treasure” in Mandarin and will only be shown to the public for a few hours every day. Bao Bao’s birth, on the 23 of August, was broadcast live via the panda cam at the Washington Zoo.

One of the reasons that panda’s are so popular with visitors is that they are one of the world’s most critical cases of an endangered species. One of the biggest reason for there endangerment is that it is very difficult for them to successfully breed in the wild and it is even harder for reproduction to be successful in captivity.

There are currently about 300 pandas in captivity, most of which are in China, and close to 1,600 pandas currently living in the wild. Chances for seeing Bao Bao are running out. When the cub turns four she will be taken back to China to be monitored at the China Conservation and Research Center, located in Wolong. Undoubtedly, fans will flock to see her why she is still young but they should also keep in mind that Bao Bao’s visa is not permanent.

Some visitors expressed some slight disappointment that all Bao Bao seems to do is sleep. Visitors are largely hoping for a little action from the cute cub, but should be pre-warned that sleeping is what you are most likely to see out of the little girl over the coming months in Washington.

The news of Bao Bao is the second baby panda to make an appearance in recent weeks. Madrid recently debuted its own panda cub, Xing Bao, in December. For those who want to see a cute panda cub in person, make sure to be prepared for a packed house at Washington Zoo as Bao Bao has becoming big news for animal lovers.

By Nick Manai




Christian Science Monitor