by Tim Regan December 11, 2015 at 10:25 am 0

Bei Bei independent

That is the face of one independent panda cub.

The National Zoo announced yesterday that Bei Bei, who as of Dec. 7 weighed 16 pounds, has “become more independent.” Though he can’t quite eat bamboo, he is “mouthing it, which is typical of a cub his age.” Typical, baby panda Bei Bei. Typical.

More B-B-BREAKING Panda details from the National Zoo:

Bei Bei’s teeth are continuing to come in, but we’re not sure if he experiences teething the way human babies do. When we hand-raised our sloth bear cub Remi, we noticed that she experienced discomfort when her teeth were coming in. Since keepers do not have constant, direct contact with Bei Bei, it is hard to definitively tell if he is experiencing something similar.

During the day when keepers are present, we’ve noticed that Mei Xiang spends most of the day separate from Bei Bei. This is natural and a good indication of his increasing independence. Keepers will begin training Bei Bei soon with simple behaviors that will aid in basic husbandry, specifically name recognition and touching a target.

The David M. Rubenstein Family Giant Panda Habitat has been closed to the public since Aug. 20 to provide quiet, and will remain closed until Bei Bei’s public debut on January 16. Prior to the debut, you can see Bei Bei on the panda cam, sponsored by the Ford Motor Company Fund.

Photo courtesy of the National Zoo

by Tim Regan December 9, 2015 at 4:30 pm 0

Bei Bei sitting

It’s no secret that the National Zoo is getting new hours.

Starting Jan. 1, instead of opening at 6 a.m., the zoo will open at 8 a.m, and naturally, some people are miffed.

Last month, a Greater Greater Washington writer bemoaned the change in hours, saying it would bar early risers from jogging through the park, and a new petition urges zoo director Dennis Kelly to “keep the 6 a.m. opening time.”

The zoo says the forthcoming change is safety-related, and as a tradeoff, will begin opening its animal houses an hour earlier at 9 a.m.

What time do you think the zoo should open? Weigh in by voting in the poll and telling us what you think in the comments. Or just post panda pictures … we won’t be upset if you do.

Photo courtesy of the National Zoo

by Tim Regan November 17, 2015 at 11:50 am 0

Bei Bei, photo courtesy of the National Zoo

WARNING: Incoming panda. I repeat, we are at panda code delta. This is not a drill.

Bei Bei, the District’s newest beloved furry panda animal, will make his national debut on Jan. 16, the National Zoo announced today.

And if you’re a Friends of the National Zoo member, you just lucked out. Member previews will be Jan. 8-15.

What a time to be alive.

Photo courtesy of the National Zoo

by Tim Regan November 4, 2015 at 9:40 am 0

Bei Bei, photo via National Zoo

Good morning. Here’s a photo of Bei Bei sulking in a box.

“Bei Bei weighed 9.5 lbs on Fri!” tweeted the Smithsonian National Zoo yesterday afternoon. “He’s still working on building up his rear leg strength.”

Zoo officials added that the panda cub’s mother, Mei Xiang, has been leaving him on the rock work in her indoor enclosure for safe-keeping.

They did not say whether they might soon photograph the tiny panda sulking in a bag or posed atop a decorative tray.

For future Bei Bei developments from the National Zoo, follow the hashtag #PandaStory on Twitter and Instagram.

Photo via

by October 28, 2015 at 2:45 pm 1 Comment

Bei Bei, photo courtesy of National Zoo

Do you like the National Zoo’s prized new panda, Bei Bei?

Be honest.

Do you care about that panda? Do you care when it sneezes? Do you care that it now weighs nearly 10 pounds? Do you watch the panda cam at work? Do you care about it? Do you? Do you?

We had a thought this morning — perhaps a little more panda coverage on Borderstan wouldn’t be a bad thing. Perhaps you’d like to be updated as the panda cub matures into a much larger panda … creature. Perhaps you’d like to read about when it tumbles through the snow for the first time or when it meets a major celebrity.

Then again, perhaps you’re sick of hearing about the panda. Perhaps you think the panda is a nuisance in your newsfeed. Perhaps you’d rather see less of the furry little ball.

So, let’s put it to a vote. Panda yeah or panda nah? You tell us. And if you feel especially passionate, let us know why you feel that way in the comments below.

Photo courtesy of National Zoo


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