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Some Good Zoo News: Washington's Baby Panda Is Learning to Walk Some Good Zoo News: Washington's Baby Panda Is Learning to Walk Some Good Zoo News: Washington's Baby Panda Is Learning to Walk Some Good Zoo News: Washi...

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Politics

Some Good Zoo News: Washington's Baby Panda Is Learning to Walk

After a string of tragic news from zoos across the nation comes a much-needed, heart-warming video of baby panda’s first steps at the National Zoo.

The National Zoo's yet-unnamed baby panda is now three months old and learning to walk.(Courtney Janney/Smithsonian's National Zoo)

photo of Marina Koren
November 19, 2013

It hasn't been a smooth week for America's zoos. On Monday, a member of the Smithsonian's National Zoo staff was attacked by a zebra and sent to the hospital with multiple bite wounds. A young gazelle, spooked by the incident, charged into a barrier and died. At the Dallas Zoo, two male lions unexpectedly turned on a 5-year-old lioness, clamping down on her throat until she suffocated.

But there is a light at the end of the enclosure. Actually, there's three, and they're all furry and adorable. The National Zoo's pair of Sumatran tiger cubs made their public debut on Monday, frolicking about their outdoor habitat with their mom. And on Tuesday, the zoo released video of its giant panda cub's attempting to take its first steps. The video will turn your day around.

 

 

 

No shame in watching at your desk, either. A 2009 study found that exposure to cute animals can boost focus, attention to detail, and careful behavior. So cheering on the panda cub as she tries to stand may actually improve your work performance.

The National Zoo's three-month old cub now weighs a healthy 10 pounds. She will not be named until she is 100 days old, in accordance with Chinese tradition. The zoo announced five potential names earlier this month, allowing panda fans across the country to pick their favorite. Voting remains open until the end of this week, and the winning name will be announced Dec. 1.

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