SD Zoo Baby Panda makes Debut

My friend Julia is here in San Diego visiting her namesake Zhen Zhen. They have the same birthdays… Too cute, huh? Zhen Zhen just went on public view, so the timing was great and Julia sez she likes the San Diego weather also. 🙂

SAN DIEGO — San Diego's most popular resident finally met her fans, up close and personal: Giant panda cub Zhen Zhen made her public debut Saturday at the San Diego Zoo.

People were lined up when the zoo's gates opened at 9 a.m. and the 17-pound, black-and-white cub was waiting at the Giant Panda Research Station's "classroom" exhibit for them. That's where Zhen Zhen remained for the next two hours.

The 4-month-old's public premiere "went very well," zoo spokesman Andrew Circo said. "We weren't sure how much interest there'd be, since we have four pandas," he said. "But a lot of people came out to see her."

Since her birth on Aug. 3, Zhen Zhen, whose name means "precious" in Chinese, has been living in a den out of the public view. Zhen Zhen, however, has been visible to the world via camera on the zoo's Web site.

Zhen Zhen will have two hours of public playtime daily during her first week, Circo said.

The cub will spend more time outside as her stamina increases, said Kathy Hawk, the zoo's senior panda keeper. As she gets older, she'll start spending nights outside if zookeepers can't lure her down from her tree perches when it gets dark.

On Friday, as Zhen Zhen was introduced to the media, the cub appeared unperturbed by visitors oohing and aahing. But Hawk said the amount of time Zhen Zhen spends in the public eye will depend on her mother's response.

"She takes her cues from her mother," Hawk said, "so as long as Bai Yun is fine, she'll be fine."

Zhen Zhen could be spotted Saturday afternoon via Web cam doing what any 4-month-old would do after an exciting morning — taking a nap.

Click thumbnails to zoom

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(KEHN BOHN/San Diego Zoo/AP)

In this photo provided by the San Diego Zoo, four-month-old giant panda cub Zhen Zhen peers over a tree stump in her enclosure at the San Diego Zoo during a media preview Friday, Dec. 21, 2007, in San Diego. Zhen Zhen and her mother, Bai Yun, were scheduled to make their public debut at the Giant Panda Research Station exhibit on Saturday,

Dec. 22. (AP Photo/San Diego Zoo, Ken Bohn)

    (DENIS POROY/AP)

    Four-month-old giant panda cub Zhen Zhen, left, leans against her mother, Bai Yun, right, in their enclosure at the San Diego Zoo during a media preview Friday, Dec. 21, 2007, in San Diego.

  • photo
  • (DENIS POROY/AP)

    Four-month-old giant panda cub Zhen Zhen plays with a ball in her enclosure at the San Diego Zoo during a media preview Friday, Dec. 21, 2007 in San Diego.

  • photo
  • (DENIS POROY/AP)

    Four-month-old giant panda cub Zhen Zhen peers over a tree stump in her enclosure at the San Diego Zoo during a media preview Friday, Dec. 21, 2007, in San Diego.

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About mikeymikez

Interested in music, film, good books and Korean culture.
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6 Responses to SD Zoo Baby Panda makes Debut

  1. monkee says:

    MERRY CHRISTMAS UNCLE MIKEY!!Eh…the panda is sooo cute!

  2. Mikey says:

    It's just 1AM of Christmas here. You have had the day already. What did you get??Wish you where in San Diego, visiting the pandas right now! :)Merry Christmas!

  3. iNa says:

    ~Waii…the Panda looks cute!!! ^_^
    ~Good thing I was able to drop by…I was looking for some pictures of Panda that me and my group mates will use for our project….But that will just serve as a guide…I have to draw it though…

  4. Mikey says:

    I have a lot of Panda stuff on VOX. I live in San Diego and the San Diego Zoo has more pandas now than anywhere outside China right now (4) And I am a Su Lin supporter (help to fed her). I even have a video I made of her when she was a baby! :)I'd love to see the picture when you are done.

  5. iNa says:

    Yeah, I just read from the websites that Su Lin lives in San Diego Zoo…I find her adorable…She's cute in her photos that I was able to see online…^_^ I wish I could see one though…I actually live in a tropical country…So Giant Panda's chance of survival is 0%…I guess…^_^

  6. Mikey says:

    Don't think Panda could survive hot, humid climate! 🙂

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