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Bao Bao Makes Her Public Debut at US National Zoo

The newest star at the National Zoo in Washington made her public debut on Saturday.

Panda cub Bao Bao walked around, played with her ball and laid down in her indoor habitat as crowds streamed in to see her.

Her mother Mei Xiang was also on view for the fans who had lined up outdoors in freezing temperatures.

The nearly five-month-old Bao Bao got her name -- Chinese for "precious" or "treasure" -- through an online vote. In keeping with Chinese naming tradition, U.S. zoos typically do not name their pandas until they turn 100 days old.

The giant panda is one of the world's most endangered species, and a female born in captivity is rare and a reason for celebration.



Bao Bao's parents are the National Zoo's female panda Mei Xiang and male panda Tian Tian . Her birth on August 23 was broadcast live on the zoo's panda cam.

Only about 1,600 giant pandas are estimated to be living in the wild and some 300 in captivity -- most of them in China.

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