Bao Bao makes first official public debut

NORTHWEST, DC (WUSA9) -- Panda-monium reached a fever pitch on Saturday.

After 5 months of patiently waiting, the public officially got to view the giant panda cub Bao Bao at the Smithsonian National Zoological Park.

Once Animal Keeper Nicole MacCorkle carried Bao Bao to the window visitors were awestruck.

They all agreed on one word to describe the panda cub.

Ava Chamber, 11 said, "She's really cute, yeah."

Ella who was also there to see Bao Bao said, "She's so cute and fluffy."

"You could hear the oohs and ahh's inside of the exhibit. That's the best part to be able to share her. Who gets to see that much cuteness everyday? It's great to see everybody else react to her, " said Mac Corkle.

"They were up at the crack of dawn, no problems they've been waiting a long time, they're so excited. It didn't matter how cold it was, " said Chamber of her three daughters.

Andrea Zappone said, "I was more excited than my children because I was more aware of what's going on but we recognize how special this is. We feel so fortunate to live in the DC area."

There was a group of grade school children visiting from Florida who came to see Bao Bao.

Lisa Washam drove from Ohio to be one of the first in line to see the star attraction. She stood in line three times to cycle through the Panda House.

"There are some people who go to places to drink and party, I go to see pandas, " Said Washam.

10,000 visitors are expected to come see Bao Bao through the holiday weekend. She is only about 5 months old, sleeping most of the time but in a matter of weeks we could see Bao Bao playing outside.

The Panda House has extended hours this holiday weekend, opening from 8:00 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. Beginning Tuesday you can view Bao Bao at 10:00 a.m.


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