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Giant Panda Cub Bei Bei Makes Public Debut at Washington Zoo On Saturday

January 17, 2016

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The giant panda cub Bei Bei made his public debut in Washington’s National Zoo on Saturday, delighting many visitors.

Upon its appearance inside its enclosed pen, the nearly five-month-old bear was greeted by cheering visitors, who had waited in lines outside the panda house since early Saturday morning, eager to get their first close-up look of the adorable creature.

Until now, Bei Bei could be viewed only through the so-called Panda Cam, a video hookup that has allowed people to watch the cub since its birth.

Bei Bei was born on Aug. 22 last year, the third surviving offspring to the zoo’s Mei Xiang and Tian Tian, a pair on loan from China.

The zoo said the cub currently weighs about 11 kilograms, ahead of both his older siblings Bao Bao and Tai Shan when they were at the same age.

“Bei Bei’s personality is a lot easier going than his sister Bao Bao. So, I was here for Bao Bao’s birth. Bao Bao was a much more independent bear. She kind of wanted to do her own thing and she liked to stand out of the public eye,” said Marty Dearie, a keeper.

“Bei Bei seems way calmer. He really like to be around us and in fact, he’s choosing to move towards us while at this age Bao Bao was still kind of walking away from us,” he added.

Many panda lovers said they were much excited to see Bei Bei in person.

“He looks absolutely adorable in person. I watched him grow up on Panda Cam from when he was born till now. And it’s great to finally see him in person,” said Lisa Washan, a visitor from Ohio.

“I came here at around 6 o’clock with my friends, and we waited for a long time. We were so looking forward to seeing Bei Bei,” said An An, a visitor from Washington.

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