bao bao
Photo by PoPville flickr user angela n.

Ed. Note: During this time I plan on singing “there’s a tear in my beer” over and over again across the street at Duke’s Counter. I apologize in advance.

From the National Zoo:

“As part of the Smithsonian’s National Zoo and Conservation Biology Institute’s cooperative breeding program with the China Wildlife Conservation Association, all cubs born at the Zoo move to China before turning 4 years old to breed with other pandas, helping to keep the population genetically diverse. Learn more about Bao Bao’s trip to China in this FAQ.

Bao Bao will be sent off with a series of celebratory events from Feb. 16 to 20, including 24/7 Bao Bao on Panda Cam 1. Check out the full schedule below for more details. (more…)

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Ollie courtesy Smithsonian’s National Zoo

The National Zoo updates:

“The female bobcat, Ollie, who escaped from the Smithsonian’s National Zoo yesterday has not returned to her enclosure. The Zoo received several calls from the public overnight with consistent information indicating she may be in the Zoo’s adjacent Woodley/Cleveland Park neighborhoods. Early this morning, the Zoo dispatched a team comprised of zoo keepers, zoo Police and DC Humane Rescue Alliance who are currently searching in these areas.

No one should approach the bobcat if she is spotted. The public should note the time and exact location of the bobcat and call 202-633-7362. There is no imminent danger to the general public. Bobcats are not known to be aggressive to humans.

The approximately 25-pound bobcat likely climbed through a small opening in the mesh net that encloses her habitat. The industrial grade mesh measures 2 inches by 2 inches. During an inspection yesterday, keepers noticed that one piece of the mesh was broken forming a larger hole, approximately 5 inches by 5 inches. Ollie is an adept climber and would have been able to climb and crawl through the hole.”

seal pup
Photo by Jacqueline Conrad, Smithsonian’s National Zoo

From the Smithsonian’s National Zoo:

“The Smithsonian’s National Zoo’s American Trail team is celebrating the arrival of a female gray seal pup, born Jan. 21 at 12:43 a.m. to mother Kara. Keepers are closely monitoring the pup, which appears to be nursing, moving and bonding well with mom. At 33 years old, Kara is the oldest gray seal to give birth in a Zoo. This pup is the third for Kara and 26-year-old father, Gunther.

Animal care staff are cautiously optimistic that the pup will thrive, and Kara is caring for her pup without interference. The pup weighed 37 pounds as of Jan. 24. Around three weeks of age, the pup will wean and shed her white lanugo coat, revealing a gray and mottled pattern similar to that of the adults. Once she is weaned, keepers will slowly introduce the new pup to the other members of the colony. She will join the Zoo’s adult gray seals and two harbor seals, Luke and Squeegee, on exhibit and public view in the spring.”

seal pup
Photo by Jacqueline Conrad, Smithsonian’s National Zoo

bei bei
Photo by PoPville flickr user angela n.

Like many of you, I am currently fighting a brutal case of inaugural insomnia. Can’t stop thinking. So, it was with great joy that I found Angela’s phenomenal (as always) photos of Bei Bei seemingly fully recovered from emergency surgery. I’d say it has improved my mood 87%. To get back the other 13% – here, again, is the list and interactive map of bars staying open late this week.

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Photo by PoPville flickr user angela n.

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Photo by PoPville flickr user angela n.

And if pandas aren’t your thing, I will crack your cold heart with a baby orangutan.

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Photo by PoPville flickr user angela n.

bei-bei
Photo via Smithsonian’s National Zoo

Sweet, sweet words from the National Zoo:

“The panda house is open today! Visitors can see Bei Bei inside the panda house until 4 p.m.”

Ed. Note: Over the Thanksgiving holiday Bei Bei hademergency surgery to to remove a dense, masticated lemon-sized mass of bamboo. Happy to see him back in form!

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Photo courtesy Smithsonian’s National Zoo

Whew!

From the Smithsonian’s National Zoo on Sunday:

“Yesterday in the late afternoon, Mei Xiang and Bei Bei began to respond to each other’s vocalizations. Bei Bei actively climbed around his den so keepers decided to reintroduce Mei Xiang and Bei Bei to help him settle down. After an initial period of high activity during the introduction, Bei Bei nursed for 20 minutes and they both fell asleep. Bei Bei has successfully nursed three times thus far. (more…)