Panda cub Xiao Liwu has taken his first few days in view of his adoring fans in stride, and is resting as much as he can. His second day out was a little bit better than his first for guests. Keepers brought him out just before 9:30 a.m. so guests could have a better chance of seeing him awake in the north exhibit. He was placed on a platform attached to the tree, where he would have a larger surface to take a nap or possibly suck on a leaf eater biscuit. Luckily for our guests, he moved around more and began to play on his climbing structure. Guests were treated to a great view of his face, but this was short lived. The little bear eventually began to get sleepy and found a nice, warm spot to nap.
Currently, Xiao Liwu’s exhibit is only open for two hours a day (9:30 to 11:30 a.m.). As he grows and becomes more confident, he will begin to play more with Mom and use more of the enrichment items that keepers have put out for him. Currently, his favorite toy is a little ball that he likes to hug and roll with. As he becomes stronger and is able to climb higher and become more stable, we probably won’t see him on the ground as much. Once baby pandas learn how to climb, they often sleep in the trees and practice their climbing skills.
For our guests, please don’t be too surprised to find him sleeping during viewing hours. Remember: he is still a baby, and he still does need to nap periodically. Hope to see you all soon!
Anastasia Horning is a panda narrator at the San Diego Zoo. Read her previous post, New Scents for Pandas.
NOTE: Now that Xiao Liwu is out on exhibit for all to see, our weekly cub exams are coming to a close. After all, he is getting big and strong and will soon be too rambunctious to safely handle for measurements and check ups. He is scheduled to have an exam this week, but we won’t be providing video or photographs of this or any further exams unless time and resources permit otherwise.