Bei Bei the Panda Cub Makes His Triumphantly Adorable (and Sleepy) Media Debut
HERE HE IS
It's the day we've been waiting for since Aug. 22, when Bei Bei the giant panda cub first entered the world. It's his media debut! On Wednesday, the 4-month-old, 17.5 pound panda got his first taste of the paparazzi and he handled it like a pro.
Bei Bei was carried into his press room by Smithsonian National Zoo animal keeper Nicole MacCorkle, who showed off the cub's four canine teeth, big paws and sharp claws, reports The Washington Post.
Bei Bei still has a lot of growing to do. He will eventually mature into a 275-pound black-and-white cutie, but that takes about six years. Right now, the cub is still nursing, has limited eyesight and has yet to experience the excitement of the outside world.
“He can definitely look at us, but he gets spooked a bit by fast movements,” zoo biologist Laurie Thompson said on the current state of Bei Bei's eyesight.
While it was an exciting day for the press, Bei Bei wasn't rattled by his new admirers. After being introduced, the panda bear took a few steps and then promptly fell asleep. “Aww”s abounded.
MOM AND ME
Bei Bei, whose name means “precious treasure,” is also getting along great with his mom Mei Xiang and loves playing with her.
“She always just amazes us with her patience with him. He'll be crawling on her. She's trying to eat. She will very subtly push him away,” said MacCorkle.
For the rest of the animal lovers itching to meet the National Zoo's newest star, your time is almost here! Bei Bei will be making his public debut on Jan. 16.