By: Mary Beth McAndrews
In an announcement made today, broadcasted live through Periscope, First Lady Michelle Obama and First Lady of the People's Republic of China Peng Liyuan revealed the name for the Zoo's newest panda cub. His name is Bei Bei, which means precious, treasure in Mandarin.
The tradition is to name a panda cub 100 days after they are born as a nod to Chinese culture. In this case, tradition was broken, but it was a special ceremony, especially with Mrs. Obama and Mme. Peng in attendance.
When he turns four, Bei Bei will be sent to the China Conservation and Research Center for the Giant Panda in Wolong, Sichuan Province for breeding purposes.
Now, he is a whooping 2.95 pounds and growing every day! He won't be on display to public until early 2016.
Keepers were able to weigh the panda cub yesterday and he’s 2.95 pounds of adorable! The 4.5 week-old cub is now larger than both his siblings were at the same age. Bao Bao was about 2 pounds and Tai Shan was 2.6 pounds. He had a veterinary exam Sept. 17, and he’s 31 centimeters long from his head to the tip of his tail. He is able to push himself up on his 10 centimeter-long front legs and sometimes scoots around the den. He’s not walking yet, though. But, he can hear now! Keepers noticed that he reacted to the noise of a door opening on Saturday. His eyes won’t open for another few weeks. #PandaStoryPosted by Smithsonian’s National Zoo and Conservation Biology Institute on Tuesday, September 22, 2015
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