Bao Bao: Baby Panda Goes Out to Play (Video)By: Pam Wright - April 2, 2014
All babies are adorable. But, giant panda baby Bao Bao’s first venture into the big, wide world is too much for anyone to stand.
Little 7-month-old Bao Bao went outside for the first time Tuesday to frolic in the National Zoo’s “cub-proofed” panda yard with momma panda Mei Xiang.
According to zoo officials, the cub spent two hours outside, climbing on one of the smaller trees and playing with a piece of bamboo.
“She was a little apprehensive in the first few minutes, but once Mei Xiang, her mom, came a little bit closer and she realized where her mom was, she made that connection,” said zookeeper Juan Rodriguez.
“We put some extra hay out there just in case she decided to go out a little farther on the rock work, and if she did fall, she would fall on a big pile of hay, so we made sure that all the area was sort of ‘baby-proof,’ if you will,” said Rodriquez.
Pretty certain zookeepers consider this little panda cub like one of their own kids. And what proud “parent” doesn’t capture their little one’s milestones? So, yes, the adventure was captured on video for the world to admire.
Bao Bao — “treasure” in Chinese — was born on August 23, 2013. Her birth is a rarity and her mother, Mei Xiang, was artificially inseminated by father Tian Tian. Bao Bao is only the second surviving cub born at the facility since 1972.
The other panda born in the National Zoo was Bao Bao’s older brother named Tai Shan, who is now in China where he is reportedly in a breeding program there.
Giant pandas are an endangered species. There are currently only several hundred giant pandas in captivity and only 2,000 alive in the world today.
Pandas first arrived at the National Zoo in 1972 following President Richard Nixon’s historic visit to China.
Image via YouTube