Perhaps it was an Instagram video the National Zoo shared of veterinarians stroking the head of giant panda cub Bei Bei, or maybe the information that while the little bear still can’t stand up and walk, he moves around by scooting his chubby body across the panda enclosure. But recently, we, Washingtonian’s in-house panda skeptics, had a very confessional exchange in one of our Slack channels.
Bei Bei might have started his young life by interrupting the run-up to Pope Francis‘s visit last month and being possibly cursed for life when First Lady Michelle Obama named him before the end of the traditional 100-day period, but it looks like he’s beating any potential jinxes.
The latest from the zoo: Bei Bei weighed in at a healthy 8.79 pounds on Tuesday, and his teeth are starting to develop. He’s even turning out to be something of a biological super-bear. The Washington Post reports that Bei Bei is moving out of the den area where adult female giant panda Mei Xiang has been mothering him just six weeks after birth, much faster than the two-and-a-half months it took for Bao Bao to get there or the three-and-a-half months Butterstick (d/b/a Tai Shan) needed.
Bei Bei’s legs aren’t yet strong enough to support his weight and stand up, but watching him scoot around on the panda cam is delightful.
We’re ready to admit that after years of panda trolling, Bei Bei is a pretty great bear. In fact, he’s near the top of our ranking of pandas and panda-related things: