This is Bao Bao first time outside
National Zoo giant panda cub Bao Bao (bow-bow) has ventured outside for the first time.
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The zoo says Bao Bao spent about two hours outside Tuesday with mother Mei Xiang's (may-SHONG). The zoo says Bao Bao tried out her climbing skills on one of the smaller trees and sat on the grass with a piece of bamboo reports boston.com.
Zookeepers had said Monday that Bao Bao would have the option of going outside if the temperature was at least 35 degrees and it wasn't not raining or snowing. This is for the cubs own protection and will do the cub good to get outside.
Animal keepers "cub-proofed" the panda yards before allowing Bao Bao outside. They placed collars on trees to prevent the cub from climbing too high. Some tree limbs have been trimmed, and the keepers spread out bales of hay to cushion any falls.
Mom was close at hand and Bao Bao was right by her side the entire time. It was an amazing sight to see said many onlookers.
The panda (Ailuropoda melanoleuca, lit. "black and white cat-foot"), also known as the giant panda to distinguish it from the unrelated red panda, is a bear native to south central China. It is easily recognized by the large, distinctive black patches around its eyes, over the ears, and across its round body. Though it belongs to the order Carnivora, the panda's diet is over 99% bamboo. Pandas in the wild will occasionally eat other grasses, wild tubers, or even meat in the form of birds, rodents or carrion. In captivity, they may receive honey, eggs, fish, yams, shrub leaves, oranges, or bananas along with specially prepared food.