Bao Bao, a 44-pound female panda bear cub, is seen in the panda exhibit at the Smithsonian's National Zoo in Washington August 23, 2014.
Reuters
By Elizabeth Barber
December 26, 2014

The Smithsonian National Zoo’s giant panda cub has climbed down from a tree just in time for Christmas.

Bao Bao came down from the tree in the Washington D.C. zoo sometime on Christmas Eve, after touching a “hot wire’ in her yard on Tuesday and scuttling as far as she could get from that wire: up a tree, the Washington Post reports. Panda-cam images from Christmas Eve show the pudgy cub safely on the ground and enjoying a bamboo feast with its mother, Mei.

Reverent panda-cam watchers had been alarmed for the 16-month-old’s well-being, though the zoo had said in a statement on Wednesday that Bao Bao’s decision to seek refuge in a tree was “predictable” and had reassured the public that there was no reason for concern. The zoo said it had stationed a zookeeper in the panda house overnight and had let Mei also spent the night in the outdoor panda yard.

“Bao Bao is perfectly fine and like all zoo animals, she is still learning the boundaries of her habitat,” the zoo had said, adding it was “confident that Bao Bao will come down when she is ready.”

Write to Elizabeth Barber at elizabeth.barber@timeasia.com.

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