US panda cub Bao Bao gets first taste of snow

2015-01-07 11:12
Bao Bao, the four and a half month old giant panda, makes her public debut at an indoor habitat at the National Zoo in Washington. (Charles Dharapak, AP)

Bao Bao, the four and a half month old giant panda, makes her public debut at an indoor habitat at the National Zoo in Washington. (Charles Dharapak, AP)

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Washington - Bao Bao, a panda born just over a year ago at Washington's National Zoo to the capital city's great delight, played in the snow for the first time on Tuesday.

The 16-month-old cub rolled down a powder-covered hill and was then shown playfully pouncing on her mother, Mei Xiang, in a video released by the zoo.

"Our great cats, wolves & seals also played in the snow," tweeted the facility, attaching a link to photos of lions, a tiger and seals frolicking in the winter scene.

Hundreds of Twitter users, including Valerie Jarrett, a senior advisor to President Barack Obama, retweeted the panda video.

"Nothing like a little Bao Bao to brighten a dreary DC snow day," Jarrett posted.

Bao Bao - "treasure" or "precious" in Mandarin - is only the second cub to survive birth at the Smithsonian Institution's zoo since it received a pair of giant pandas in 1972 following president Richard Nixon's historic visit to China.

The snow, which delayed morning commuters across the US capital, created ideal winter play conditions for another Washington celebrity animal: Bo, the Obama dog.

Official White House photographer Pete Souza tweeted a photo of the first pet standing in stark contrast against a lawn of powder in the White House Rose Garden.


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