Baby Panda Ready to Meet His Fans

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    NEWSLETTERS

    San Diego Zoo panda cub Xiao Liwu took his first steps in his new habitat on Wednesday. Elena Gomez reports. (Published Thursday, Jan 10, 2013)

    The San Diego Zoo’s giant panda cub will finally make his debut to the public Thursday after a 5-month-long wait. 

    On Thursday, the first dedicated viewers will be able to see him in the north exhibit. However, the exhibit will only be open from 9:30 to 11:30 a.m. for the first few weeks so that Xiao Liwu can get used to his new life in the spotlight.  

    Cute Panda Cub Makes Outdoor Debut

    [DGO] Panda Cub Makes Outdoor Debut
    San Diego Zoo panda cub Xiao Liwu took his first steps in his new habitat on Wednesday. Elena Gomez reports. (Published Thursday, Jan 10, 2013)

    Also, since Xiao Liwu likes to hang out in the zoo's moat, he may not be entirely visible in those hours.

    On Wednesday, members of the press were given a sneak peek of Xiao Liwu as he played in the public enclosure. He could be seen rummaging through bushes, climbing trees and snacking on treats scattered throughout the enclosure. 

    Baby Panda Explores New Home

    [DGO] Baby Panda Explores New Home
    Raw video of baby panda Xiao Liwu exploring his enclosure for the first time at the San Diego Zoo. He makes his public debut after a 5-month-long wait, NBC San Diego reports. (Published Wednesday, Jan 9, 2013)

    WATCH: Raw video of Xiao Liwu's entrance. 

    Though visitors to the zoo haven't been able to see Xiao Liwu yet, his life is far from private. Animal-lovers around the world have watched him grow via the zoo's "Panda Cam" from a tiny bean-shaped speck resting on his mother to a rambunctious fluff ball crawling away from veterinarians at his routine exams. 

    "The Panda Team feels our five-month-old cub has become confident enough to navigate around this large habitat while being admired by his adoring fans," said the zoo's blog moderator Debbie Andreen in post Monday.

    Zookeepers say Xiao Liwu is growing normally and showing more movement and activity than in past weeks. At his last exam, started venturing outside and showing more interest in his surroundings.

    Pandaholics Flock to Panda Naming Ceremony

    [DGO] Pandaholics Flock to Panda Naming Ceremony
    More than 35,000 people voted on the name of the San Diego Zoo's newest Panda, who was officially named Xiao Liwu. NBC 7 spoke to some of the self-diagnosed Pandaholics at the naming ceremony Tuesday. (Published Tuesday, Nov 13, 2012)

    For more on the exhibit and other animals at the zoo, click here. 

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