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Giant Panda Bao Bao May Start Venturing Outside This Week

For Release: March 31, 2014

To download images, visit the Smithsonian National Zoo's Flickr page.

Seven-month-old Bao Bao will have access to her mother Mei Xiang's (may-SHONG) larger yard this week beginning each day around 8 a.m., weather depending. Bao Bao will be given the option to explore outside with her mother if the temperature is at least 35 degrees Fahrenheit with no precipitation. Although Bao Bao will have the option to go outside, she may decide to stay inside the panda house. It may take several weeks before Bao Bao is venturing outside with Mei Xiang regularly.

In preparation for Bao Bao's outdoor debut, keepers have cub-proofed the giant panda yards. Giant pandas are very adept climbers, and cubs especially spend time climbing trees. The trees in Mei Xiang's yard have been collared, and some tree limbs have been trimmed for Bao Bao's safety. Keepers have placed bales of hay around the grotto and yard to cushion any potential falls.

Note to media: If you are interested in filming or photographing Bao Bao outside, park in the Bus Parking Lot and leave credentials on the dashboard.

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