Bei Bei the panda shown to the world

  • 17/12/2015
Bei Bei the panda shown to the world

Washington Zoo's new panda, Bei Bei, has gone on display for the first time.

Being introduced to the media at four months old is something usually reserved for royalty. Well, that's exactly what Bei Bei is – the prince of cute.

Millions of panda lovers have watched him grow up on the national zoo's panda cam – from birth, when he was completely helpless, to where he is today – which is just mostly helpless.

Doctors say he's in perfect health and give much of the credit to his mother who endlessly plays with him, carries him over rocks, slides him across the floor and nuzzles him to sleep.

"Right now he is entirely dependent on her," says Dr Brandie Smith, head of the zoo's animal care. "He's not eating any solid food. She's nursing him – that's where he gets all of his nutrients. Everything comes from Mum right now."

Today, mother Mei Xiang spent much of her time outside, leaving Bei Bei in the media glare with his keeper, Juan Rodriguez, who is known to Bei Bei's adoring fans as the luckiest man in the world.

"Being able to work with these guys, it just puts a smile on your face," he says. "I mean you just can't get enough of it."

The public will get to see Bei Bei in the flesh from next month.

CBS News