Bao Bao, (literal translation of her name: precious treasure) has grown to approximately eighteen pounds in the last five months. She's not only walking and climbing on the rocks in her indoor enclosure but she's also mimicking mama Mei's bamboo habits. Only difference between her and mama? Mama breaks that rascally, sturdy bamboo in half with her amazing thumbs and chews up stalk after stalk of the tasty green stuff until she's eaten all the food available to her in her exhibit. Whereas, baby Bao Bao's not yet eating solid foods. Her teeth are still in early development stages. Meaning...all little Bao Bao can do is lick the leafy parts of the bamboo stalk. Fortunately, she seems to like that just fine. That and playing with her toys.
Bao Bao's a fearless, fancy climber who doesn't let ridiculous things like being bopped off her rock by her mama, deter her from turning around and climbing right back up the side of it. She likes to play with her ball and snuggle up inside a ringed toy her human caretakers leave out for her. High activity times to watch her in action properly happen during daylight hours, however I enjoy watching her do her thing late at night before hitting my own pile of hay for sleep. Typically, clicking the arrow "on" on the Panda Cam around 1 am est, also works well to catch her in high-octane mode.
If you've been waiting to check out beautiful Bao Bao in person, now's the time to high-tail it on over to Smithsonian's National Zoo in D.C. Both baby and mama now have access to public viewing areas at periodical times. Early morning hours are believed to be best if you want to see the baby cub do more than sleep. Expect long lines at the zoo. Who doesn't love watching pandas?! Help the zoo out and do yourself a favor at the same time. Friends Of the National Zoo (click here for membership details) enjoy benefits such as private viewing times.
As for me, I can't wait to wave at Bao Bao in person this spring. I think it's fair to say, I'm way more excited than she is, about my upcoming trip. How bad is it that I can't stop concocting ways in my mind to bust her out for real, and sneak her home on the plane with me? How much bamboo does a baby panda eat in one day? I'd better get to doing research so I can have adequate supplies on hand when we arrive back at my...never mind... (Note to self: some things are better off left inside your head and not spoken out loud.)
Should you see Bao Bao before May, tell her I said, hello! and keep chewing...that tasty bamboo's got to give way to her teeth sooner or later.
Entertain yourself with PANDA CAM activities by clicking here: PANDAS RULE!