Giant Panda Bulletin
December 10, 2015                                        #PandaStory
Bei Bei weighs 16 pounds_
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Bei Bei Becomes More Independent

This panda update was written by keeper Marty Dearie.

As of December 7, Bei Bei weighed about 16 pounds (7.32 kg). Even though he's grown exponentially over the last few months, he still won't be eating bamboo for a while. However, he has started to mouth it, which is typical of a cub his age.

Bei Bei's teeth are continuing to come in, but we're not sure if he experiences teething the way human babies do. When we hand-raised our sloth bear cub Remi, we noticed that she experienced discomfort when her teeth were coming in . Since keepers do not have constant, direct contact with Bei Bei, it is hard to definitively t ell if he is experiencing something similar .
During the day when keepers are present, we've noticed that Mei Xiang spends most of the day separate from Bei Bei. This is natural and a good indication of his increasing independence. Keepers will begin training Bei Bei soon with simple behaviors that will aid in basic husbandry, specifically name recognition and touching a target. 

The David M. Rubenstein Family Giant Panda Habitat has been closed to the public since Aug. 20 to provide quiet, and will remain closed until Bei Bei's public debut on January 16. Prior to the debut, you can see Bei Bei on the panda cam, sponsored by the Ford Motor Company Fund.

Don't forget to  follow @smithsonianzoo on Instagram for more photos and videos with the hashtag #PandaStory!
If you spot a good shot of Bei Bei on the panda cam, take a screen shot and upload the picture to our #PandaStory Flickr group. Be sure to include the time stamp! Once a week we'll share a favorite shot posted by a panda cam fan. Thank you to Flickr user, chris.finchy, for capturing this hilarious  moment! 
Bao Bao Update

Bao Bao continues to spend her days outside eating and sleeping. Her play sessions include plenty of climbing and running! Lately , some of her play sessions have in cluded interactions with keepers through the mesh, which is a form of social enrichment.
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