Bao Bao: Baby Panda Ventures Outside
Ellisha Rader Mannering
What could be cuter than a baby panda? How about one that is experiencing the outside for the first time in its young life. Baby Bao Bao was treated to her first day out at the National Zoo and seemed to enjoy herself as she attempted to climb trees and explored her surroundings.
Bao Bao played outside for about two hours, with her mother Mei Xiang watching carefully nearby. Before the playful panda cub could be allowed outside, zookeepers had to baby proof the outdoor areas so it was safe for her to explore.
The baby proofing included shaving trees and putting rings around them so the cub could not climb too high and get stuck or fall and get hurt. They also spread hay underneath the trees to help cushion the area incase Bao Bao would fall.
Bao Bao was born August 23, 2013 and is the pride and joy of the National Zoo. Her name translates to “treasure” or “precious.” Any time a panda is born in captivity, the world rejoices. Pandas are an endangered species and are threatened by habitat loss and very low birthrates.
Attempts to help save the Pandas and increase Panda populations have been somewhat successful, and there have been several Panda cubs born in zoos and other facilities around the world. There are over 200 Pandas that are currently living in captivity in China and around 25 in other countries.
Conservation reports show that there are about 3,000 Pandas living in the wild. Populations seem to be increasing, but not fast enough for the Panda to be removed from the endangered species list.
Now that Bao Bao has been allowed to explore the outdoors and has done well with it, she will be allowed to do so more often and will likely become a zoo favorite.
What do you think of baby Bao Bao?
Image via YouTube