On January 16, hundreds of panda lovers lined up outside the gates of the National Zoo in Washington D.C. to be the first to get a glimpse at Bei Bei. While the giant panda cub that was born on August 22, has been visible on the zoo's video camera, this was his first public appearance.
However, all the attention did not seem to faze the adorable five-month-old black & white fluff ball. He spent much of the time napping in his box that lay in the corner of his mother's den. But his fans, who were let into the pen in groups of 50 and allowed to admire Bei Bei for a full ten minutes, did not care. They were just happy to get a closer look at the 25-pound giant panda, sleeping or otherwise. In fact, many got right back in line to see him for a second time.
Bei Bei, which means 'precious treasure' in Mandarin, will live at the zoo until he turns four. Then just like his older sister Bao Bao and their older sibling Tai Shuan, he will be sent to the giant panda breeding program at the Wolong Nature Reserve in China's Sichuan Province. Hopefully, he will be able to add to the dwindling giant panda population by producing an offspring or two.
Resources: npr.com, washingtonpost.com