If you are into graphic cuteness, then this article is for you. Bei Bei the giant panda cub made his first public appearance on Saturday, January 16, at the Smithsonian National Zoo in Washington, DC. The cute cub was seen by the media last month, and his highly anticipated public debut has the internet abuzz with videos and photos galore of Bei Bei.
Bei Bei is the surviving cub of a set of twins that was born in August of last year to Giant Panda Mei Xiang at the Smithsonian National Zoo. The smaller male of the twin cubs died a week after they were born. Mel Xiang was artificially inseminated, but the father was revealed to be Tian Tian, who shares the panda habitat at the zoo with Bei Bei and his mother.
Along with his parents, Bei Bei also shares his habitat with his older sister Bao Bao. The David M. Rubenstein Family Giant Panda Habitat at the zoo is part of a conservation effort to save the Giant Panda, which is an endangered species. When Bei Bei turns four years old, he will be sent to China to live in a natural habitat.
This Instagram photo shows what the baby Giant Panda Bei Bei looked like four months ago. Bei Bei has been well taken care of prior to his debut; panda cubs born in captivity have had relatively slim chances of survival, and Bei Bei was one of the lucky ones. His mother Mei had previously lost 5 other pregnancies before Bei Bei and his twin were born.
ABC News reported that Bei Bei had been mainly seen on “panda cam” during his first five months. So of course crowds of people were lined up early Saturday morning eagerly awaiting a glimpse of the five-month-old giant panda cub. A spokesperson for the Smithsonian Zoo told ABC,“Today was a thrilling day at the National Zoo.”
“After watching Bei Bei on the panda cam for months, our public got to see this 22-pound cute conservation success in person.”
Panda cam is a live web broadcast of the habitat of Bei Bei and his mother Mei. You can view the cam anytime and collect screen grabs to share on #PandaStory on Flickr and Instagram like the one below.
The following videos are from a month ago when Bei Bei made his first media appearance where the media was allowed to see the panda cub. As you can see, there can’t be too many videos or photos posted of a cute baby giant panda!
In September, First Lady Michele Obama and the First Lady of China Peng Liyuan were chosen to name the baby giant panda. The first ladies chose the name Bei Bei, which means “precious treasure.” Considering the circumstances surrounding the birth of the panda cub, the name certainly suits Bei Bei.
— Y u no breaking news (@discoveringabot) September 26, 2015
The Smithsonian Zoo’s Facebook page shows the first public appearance of Bei Bei the giant panda cub. The FB page also has plenty of cuddly panda cub photos as well as other photos of the amazing and beautiful creatures at the zoo.
Twitter was also “all a’twitter” about Bei Bei once he made his appearance.
— NBC DFW (@NBCDFW) January 17, 2016
— AFP news agency (@AFP) January 17, 2016
— WTOP (@WTOP) January 16, 2016
What did you think about Bei Bei the Giant Panda’s big debut? Please feel free to comment below and don’t forget to check out the “panda cam” and share some screen grabs with #PandaStory!
[Photo by AP Photo/Jose Luis Magana]