National Zoo's panda cub greets the public

Jan. 7, 2014 at 4:50 PM

WASHINGTON, Jan. 7 (UPI) -- Bao Bao, the 4-month-old panda cub at the National Zoo in Washington, has made her first official appearance to the media and the public.

Zookeepers introduced the giant panda cub to the public Monday morning at the Giant Panda House while panda mom Mei Xiang looked on and chewed on bamboo, the Washington Post reported Tuesday.

The zoo said Bao Bao's time on exhibit will depend on the behavior of the cub and her mother. They said she will likely spend more time in the public eye as she gets older.

National Zoo biologist Laurie Thompson said Bao Bao weighs a healthy 17 pounds and is learning to climb, leading to some falls.

"Panda's cubs are very dense. They have a lot of fur, and it's very, very thick fur," Thompson said. "They're used to taking tumbles. They're made for it."

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