DC Welcomes Panda Bear Cub Bao Bao (Asian Fortune, March 12, 2014)

DC Welcomes Panda Bear Cub Bao Bao By Tamara Treichel 

Washington, D.C. – Washington has become the residence of its latest goodwill ambassador from China – only this “ambassador” looks and acts differently from what one may expect. She is completely covered in white and black fur and prefers to snack on bamboo all day long instead of actively engaging in any PR.

Her name is Bao Bao.

Bao Bao, whose name means “treasure” in Chinese, was born on Aug. 23, 2013 to the National Zoo’s giant pandas Mei Xiang and Tian Tian. She made her highly anticipated first public appearance on Jan. 18, 2014. Washington’s “debutante” graced the headlines of Washington’s newspapers upon this occasion. Bao Bao was, and to a certain extent remains, big news.

The charm of pandas

The charm of pandas

Indeed, pandas are quite popular in the United States. Just think of the American animated film Kung Fu Panda, the U.S. restaurant chain Panda Express, which uses the animal in its name and logo, and the Chinese show Panda! which debuted in Las Vegas recently and caters to American audiences.

So what’s the hype about this fuzz ball that looks like a bit like a super-sized skunk minus scent glands? For sure, this Chinese teddy bear may appear cuddly and cute, but doesn’t it just sit around lazily, chewing on bamboo stalks or snoozing most of the time? Continue reading