News & Politics

National Zoo Is Going to Put a Panda Photo on Instagram

Actually, a video.

Future Instagram star. Photograph courtesy of National Zoo.

The National Zoo’s hype giant panda cub Bao Bao’s public debut—8 AM on January 18, so start camping out now—has reached the level at which the zoo is now hyping the hype. The zoo’s widely followed Twitter account just dropped this bombshell:

Whatever could the photo be? The zoo’s Instagram account is currently empty, but considering that Bao Bao’s visage currently graces the rest of the Smithsonian’s social media portfolio, as well as the current issue of Smithsonian magazine, one can safely assume what the National Zoo’s inaugural Instagram shot will depict.

But what to make of this “new angle”? Bao Bao has already been photographed from the front, the sides, and from above. Perhaps she’ll be suspended in mid-air?

UPDATE, 1/15/14: Actually, the zoo’s debut Instagram item is a video. “Bao Bao #selfie video? Um, yes please,” the caption reads. But, as any novice Instagram user is aware, the video below does not qualify as a “selfie,” as Bao Bao’s front paws are clearly visible the entire time, thus making it impossible that the five-month-old cub took the video herself. Also, pandas lack the opposable thumbs required to grasp a mobile phone and shoot an Instagram video.

Staff Writer

Benjamin Freed joined Washingtonian in August 2013 and covers politics, business, and media. He was previously the editor of DCist and has also written for Washington City Paper, the New York Times, the New Republic, Slate, and BuzzFeed. He lives in Adams Morgan.