New photos of Bao Bao as her public debut approaches

January 13, 2014

Bao Bao, the National Zoo’s giant panda cub, is finally making her public debut this weekend. The cub, nearly five months old, has been visible on the ever-popular Panda Cam for some time (though the camera did go dark during the government shutdown). Routine visitors to the zoo haven’t been able to see her just yet, something that will finally change on Saturday.

But maybe you don’t want to wait until Saturday. Maybe you want to see new panda photos now. Maybe you want to see her playing with some toys. As it turns out, the zoo posted some new photos online Monday, noting that as Bao Bao gets older and more mobile, the animal care team is working to train her more and offer her a wider variety of toys:


Bao Bao explores. (Photo by Annalisa Meyer for Smithsonian’s National Zoo)

The zoo also noted that members of the public who want to donate money to help buy the cub (or any other animal) a gift should head here. These gifts include art supplies, balls, tractor tires and other things meant to provide an enriching environment for the animals, according to the zoo.


Bao Bao the contemplative. (Photo by Annalisa Meyer for Smithsonian’s National Zoo)

Bao Bao greeted the media for the first time last week, spawning this life-changing GIF:

Oh, that GIF isn’t enough? You’d like an entire video of the cub clambering about? Fine, twist our arms, here’s a video:

Bao Bao, the giant panda cub at the Smithsonian's National Zoo, mugs for the cameras as she greets the media for the first time. Then, Bao Bao went back to sleep as mom Mei Xiang munched on bamboo. The public gets their first look at the cub on Jan. 18. (Lee Powell/The Washington Post)

(If you feel like strolling down memory lane, here’s a video showing the panda cub last September, some photos released shortly thereafter, footage of the cub taking her first steps and photos showing the panda after she got her first vaccination.)

Mark Berman is a reporter on the National staff. He runs Post Nation, a destination for breaking news and developing stories from around the country.
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