Washington D.C.: Last Saturday, Bei Bei’s highly anticipated public debut drew thousands of guests to Smithsonian’s National Zoo; 7,498 to be exact.
Until now, the giant panda cub had been shown to the public only through media updates, photos, and Panda Cam. Bei Bei is now quite active as he explores his world. Due to his active nature, sometimes it can be difficult to sit still, especially on scales. As of January 11, Bei Bei weighed 22 pounds.
The cub is still nursing from mother Mei Xiang and will not be weaned for another year. However, Bei Bei received his first taste of bamboo leaves last Friday. It is unknown if this behavior is instinctual or learned from observing his mother. There is still much to be studied and understood about the lives of giant pandas.
Bei Bei was also given a taste of sweet potato for the first time. Staff says that he definitely enjoyed it!
While he is not ready to have full access to the outside yet, keepers are beginning to expand the area that Bei Bei explores. After winter storm Jonas passed over the east coast, Bei Bei experienced snow for the first time. Keepers say he wasn’t quite sure what to make of it.
Bei Bei wasn’t the only one curious of the snow. You may have seen the now-viral video of giant panda Tian Tian having a ball in the freshly fallen snow: