News & Politics

While We’ve All Been Freaking Out, Here’s What the Baby Panda Has Been Doing This Week

Including: Celebrating Halloween and falling asleep during a check-up.

We've also been in the fetal position all week. Photo courtesy of Smithsonian National Zoo.

As you may have heard, there’s some big news in DC. That’s right: the baby panda turned 11 weeks old. But in light of the other major news happening right now, we’ve got some panda content to lighten the mood. Here’s what the cub has been up to this past week.

Celebrating Halloween 

 Photo courtesy of Smithsonian National Zoo.
Photo courtesy of Smithsonian National Zoo.

While human cubs were trick-or-treating on October 31, the panda cub received a treat of his own: A pumpkin. Distributing gourds around the zoo is a Halloween tradition, giving animals a new seasonal toy to explore. Papa bear Tian Tian and mama bear Mei Xiang also got some carrot and applesauce “snack-o-lanterns” to munch on.

Getting measurements 

 Photo courtesy of Smithsonian National Zoo.
Photo courtesy of Smithsonian National Zoo.

The panda hit his 11-week-old milestone on Friday and keepers commemorated the occasion with new measurements. Exhausted by the existential dread plaguing the nation (or more likely, just being a baby), the panda fell asleep midway through his exam. The baby bear even barked in response to the keepers’ laughter, according to a Zoo update.

Not worrying about the electoral college

 Photo courtesy of Smithsonian National Zoo.
Photo courtesy of Smithsonian National Zoo.

We don’t have any direct quotes from the baby panda confirming whether he has been watching Steve Kornacki, but we can only assume the cub does not care about polling numbers. He spent this week hanging out with Mei Xiang in a rocky section of panda area deemed “the playpen” because of its popularity with the baby panda set. The duo nursed and napped, unbothered by election results.

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Assistant Editor

Daniella Byck joined Washingtonian in August 2018. She is a graduate of the University of Wisconsin-Madison where she studied journalism and digital culture. Originally from Rockville, she lives in Logan Circle.