News & Politics

Adorable Bear Walks

Bei Bei in a box! Photograph courtesy National Zoo.

Bei Bei, the National Zoo’s two-month-old giant panda cub, has proved again that he’s a pretty great bear by taking his first cautious steps on all four legs. The cub, born August 22, was seen Tuesday evening wobbling around some rocks inside the zoo’s panda habitat.

In a video, set to pastoral barnyard music, Bei Bei can be seen taking seven or eight steps on his own before his mother, Mei Xiang, nuzzles him, knocks him down, and then picks uph his growing body with her mouth. (The National Zoo describes the interaction as a “major cuddle.”)

Although he lasted fewer than ten steps, Bei Bei’s waddle cemented his second-place entry in Washingtonian‘s panda rankings. The cub, who weighed 9.5 pounds as of October 30, achieved the ability to walk on all fours on the 87th day of his life, several days ahead of the pace set by the zoo’s previous giant panda cub, 2-year-old Bao Bao, who needed 93 days to become ambulatory. Well done, Bei Bei!

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.