San Diego panda cub to make public debut Thursday

By David Ferguson
Wednesday, January 9, 2013 14:27 EDT
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Panda cub and mother at San Diego Zoo
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Officials at the San Diego Zoo gave members of the media a sneak peek at Xiao Liwu, the zoo’s “rambunctious” 5-month-old panda.  According to the San Diego Union-Tribune, the cub will make his  public debut on Thursday, when zoo-goers can visit the zoo’s outdoor den from 9:30 a.m. to 11:30 a.m. to see “Mr. Wu,” as zoo personnel have nicknamed the bear.

Wednesday morning, journalists gathered at 8:00 a.m. to watch as Xiao Liwu — Chinese for “Little Gift” — left the birthing area to roam around the enclosure, climb trees, roll in hay and play with his mother, Bai Yun.

At length, he plopped down into the den’s moat, where he appeared to be napping.  Zookeepers said that he frequently sleeps there.

Currently, the cub weighs 16 pounds and is in robust health.  He is the San Diego Zoo’s sixth panda cub.

A post about Xiao Liwu at the zoo’s blog informed the public that as he grows up, his public visiting sessions will get longer.

The blog also noted, “Please also know that Xiao Liwu seems to like being in the exhibit’s moat, so he may be ‘on exhibit’ but ‘out of sight.’ However, his father, Gao Gao, and big brother Yun Zi will continue to be available for viewing in the main Panda Trek exhibits.”

Xiao Liwu and his mother can be viewed virtually anytime on the zoo’s “Panda Cam.”

Watch video about this story, embedded via YouTube, below:

[image via screencap]

David Ferguson
David Ferguson
David Ferguson is an editor at Raw Story. He was previously writer and radio producer in Athens, Georgia, hosting two shows for Georgia Public Broadcasting and blogging at Firedoglake.com and elsewhere. He is currently working on a book.
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