The National Zoo announced today that the Panda Cam-obsessed will finally be able to see giant panda cub Bao Bao in person beginning Jan. 18. Members of Friends of the National Zoo will be able to visit earlier, with exclusive access to the panda habitat Jan. 11-Jan. 17.
The cub's hours in the habitat could vary in the early weeks, says National Zoo spokeswoman Devin Murphy.
You may remember the ticketed process for the unveiling of the zoo's previous panda cub, Tai Shan, in 2005. The zoo initially released 13,000 tickets to the general public through its Web site, all of which were snapped up in two hours. (Larger batches of tickets were released thereafter.)
Murphy says that the zoo will not use the timed-entry tickets this time around and will instead welcome visitors on a first-come, first-served basis. Visitors will be asked to line up outside the panda habitat.
Bao Bao will be just under five months old in January. “We’re confident that she’ll be big enough and mobile enough, and she’ll be ready for lots of people to see her," says Murphy.