What's the Opposite of Panda-monium?

Yún Zi made his public debut on Thursday

By Eric S. Page and Michelle Wayland
|  Thursday, Jan 7, 2010  |  Updated 11:55 AM PDT
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The new baby panda at the zoo makes his media debut

The new baby panda at the zoo makes his media debut

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Want to see the panda cub but hate lines? Not a big problem at Thursday's debut.

Yun Zi, the new baby panda at the San Diego Zoo, made his media debut on Wednesday. Thursday was the first time the gates of the panda exhibit area were opened to members of the general public. In the past, public debuts have created lengthy lines for fans aching for some time to see a cub. But on Thursday morning, the lines looked, well, normal.

The panda lovers who did show up were thrilled, though, to see the 5-month-old cub, who was born in August.

"This was exciting, to be able to see him in his ... what would be, I guess, similar to his natural habitat and see him up close," said Lisa Berman-Hernandez. "It's quite spectacular."

Yun Zi, whose name means "Son of Cloud," is the fifth giant panda cub to be born at the zoo.

There's no guarantees, though, about the length of the lines -- once word gets out, the waiting time may grow.

Eric S. Page reports about all things San Diego, but he draws the line at cat stories. You can follow his updates at twitter.com/espage or send him a story idea.

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