Eyewitness Report:

He's Really, Really Cute

* KidsPost got to see the panda cub yesterday. How cool is that?

Tai Shan had his first audience with groups of reporters, who each were given 10 minutes with the furry celebrity inside the National Zoo's panda house.

As if on cue, the chubby-looking, 21-pound cub slowly climbed to the top of a tall rock pile in his den, which is about half as big as a classroom. Then, as cameras clicked nonstop from behind the glass, he began the trickier descent. With just one rock to go, he slipped and tumbled 18 inches to the floor. The reporters all sighed: "Awwww."

Nearly 5 months old, Tai Shan (pronounced tie shahn) is getting ready to meet the public next week. Until now, only zoo employees and supporters have seen him in person.

"He's the nation's panda," zoo official Lisa M. Stevens said of the great interest in the cub, which can be seen nearly nonstop on the zoo's Web site, www.nationalzoo.si.edu. Tai Shan has many international admirers, too: Japanese, Chinese and Russian TV journalists were among those lining up for a peek.

Soon the cub will be exploring outside and eating bamboo.

Want to know more? Animal Planet will show "A Panda Is Born" on Dec. 10 at 8 p.m. The video has scenes of Tai Shan's birth July 9.

Tai Shan goes rock climbing.