While Polar Vortex 2.0 (or Winter Storm Gorgon, if you work for The Weather Channel) brings misery — in the form of single-digit and sub-zero temperatures — to the Midwest and Great Plains, it also brought a snowfall to Washington, D.C. And at the National Zoo, baby panda Bao Bao took advantage of her snow day to frolic in the snow, pounce on her mom, tumble down hills, and generally be adorable.
The video posted above was pieced together from footage taken from the National Zoo’s Panda Cam, where you can watch a live feed of the zoo’s panda enclosure at any time, day or night.
Bao Bao (“Precious Treasure”) was born August 23, 2013, at the National Zoo, according to The Smithsonian Institute. At just over a year and a half old, she’s still a kid in panda terms; pandas don’t reach “adulthood” (that is, sexual maturity) until they’re four years old or older.
Her parents, Mei Xiang and Tian Tian, are on loan from China. The two adults are kept apart (although there is a mesh screen between them, in case they want to say “Hi” to each other), and Bao Bao lives in the same enclosure as her mother.
In the pandas’ natural habitat in the mountainous regions of China, cold and snowy winters are routine, but Washington is, in general, much hotter and much less snowy, according to NPR.
Because she’s spent so much of her young life in the inside portion of her enclosure, and because snow is so uncommon in Washington (that is, compared to her natural habitat), this video captures the baby panda’s first time ever experiencing snow.
[Images courtesy of: CBS Washington,The Smithsonian Institute]