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Giant panda Update Jan 10, 2014

This panda update was written by keeper Nicole MacCorkle.

Like father, like daughter. Panda cam viewers may have noticed something interesting about Bao Bao's resting habits—she frequently sleeps on her back, which is the preferred position for her dad Tian Tian as well. Early on a recent morning, she was observed sleeping on her back, scratching her belly exactly the way her dad does. For that moment in time, she looked just like a little mini Tian Tian!

Bao Bao's coordination and climbing abilities are improving each day, and now she spends considerable time just exploring her enclosures, always under Mei Xiang's watchful eye, of course. It won't be long now until Bao Bao begins exploring the great outdoors as well, and that's when all of the fun and extreme panda cub cuteness will really begin! Mei Xiang will really be busy keeping up with Bao Bao and all of her adventures in the new year.

Bao Bao will make her public debut Jan. 18. The panda house at the David M. Rubenstein Family Giant Panda Habitat will be open from 8 a.m to 4:30 p.m. from Jan. 18 to Jan. 20. Beginning Jan. 21 it will be open from 10 a.m. to 4:30 p.m.