Panda Cub: Last Exam?

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Xiao Liwu sits atop the "mini-Keebler" to survey his territory.

Xiao Liwu sits atop the “mini-Keebler” to survey his territory.

Our Zoo photographer, Ken Bohn, took such a cute photo of panda cub Xiao Liwu today that we just had to share it with his many fans. The 5½-month old cub has been perfecting his tree-climbing skills, much to the fascination (and horror!) of Panda Cam viewers. We know it looks scary and he could/will fall, but this is all part of learning to be a panda. Soon, Xiao Liwu will spend most of his time high up in a tree, just as he would in the wild to stay safe from predators while his mother forages for food.

Xiao Liwu’s exams are coming to a close, as he is a growing bear, and we want to treat him as such. But we do have an exam scheduled for next week. Our photographer and videographer will be there to record what may be his last exam as a cub, and guess who else will be there—ME!

Yes, after moderating panda (and other) blogs for all these years, I finally have the privilege of attending my very first panda cub exam. I am beyond excited and getting goosebumps as I write this! I promise to write about the exam in excruciating detail. I want to share my joy with all of you, our faithful blog readers! If you have a question you’d like me to ask the attending veterinarian, please let me know in the comment section. One question I’ll be sure to ask: Is Mr. Wu still fine after all of the tumbles he has taken? I’m confident the answer will be a resounding “yes,” but it’s always nice to hear it from an expert.

And rest assured that I will tell Xiao Liwu how much he is loved by all of you. I may even blow him a kiss—don’t tell Bai Yun!

Debbie Andreen is an editor and blog moderator for San Diego Zoo Global.

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