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Giant panda cub makes public debut at Smithsonian Zoo

Jan. 18, 2014 at 4:53 PM   |   Comments

WASHINGTON, Jan. 18 (UPI) -- A baby giant panda cub named Bao Bao greeted visitors as the Smithsonian National Zoo in Washington for the first time on Saturday, officials said.

The 5-month old cub, who sleeps about 20 hours a day, was seen napping in the panda house after it opened at 8 a.m. EST Saturday, the Washington Post reported.

Lisa Washam drove 500 miles from Lima, Ohio, to see Bao Bao's public debut.

"She's so beautiful," Washam said. "I feel she's looking at me."

Bao Bao was born Aug. 23 and was the first giant panda to survive birth at the Smithsonian National Zoo since 2005. Zoo officials said the cub has already shown signs of recognizing her name.

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