Public gets first peek at petit panda

The Yomiuri Shimbun
Visitors look at Adventure World theme park’s newest panda cub in Shirahama, Wakayama Prefecture, on Friday.

A giant panda cub born last autumn had its public debut Friday at Adventure World, a theme park in Shirahama, Wakayama Prefecture.

Fans were all smiles at the sight of the adorable female baby panda, who was being cradled in the arms of a caretaker. “While I would have liked to see her move a little more, I was able to see her in a way that up until now I’ve only been able to see online,” said a 58-year-old visitor from Sakai, Osaka. A member of the breeding staff said, “We’d like everyone to see her waddling around and how she looks when her eyes are wide open. She’ll start running around and practicing climbing trees soon.”

The cub became the park’s first birth in two years on Nov. 22 last year. Her debut was originally scheduled for the end of last year, but was postponed amid the COVID-19 crisis. During this time, she grew to be 74 centimeters tall and weighs 6.15 kilograms. To avoid overcrowding, the park distributed a limited number of tickets. The park will announce her name Thursday after the results of the fan votes are tallied.

The Yomiuri Shimbun
A panda cub is seen at Adventure World in Shirahama, Wakayama Prefecture, on Friday.