Like a lot of kids this winter, a giant panda cub got to enjoy his very first snow day, even though he lives in Southern California.
It was the first time that 7-month-old Xiao Liwu had ever seen snow and at first, the cub seemed slightly puzzled by his white surroundings. After a moment of hesitation, the cub began to run around in the snow and went back to tumbling and playing with his mother.
“He was definitely enjoying the snow and running around. I’ve never seen him so wired up,” said Jennifer Becerra, San Diego Zoo senior keeper, said in a statement. “Xiao Liwu was jumping on mom, wrestling with her and getting used to being thrown in the snow by mama bear.”
Zookeepers at the San Diego Zoo spread snow around the enclosure where the pandas reside to give the newest addition to the family some exposure to what he would experience in his natural habitat. Over 15 tons of fresh snow was blown into the pandas exhibit.
“We have a truck that comes in and is specially designed to turn large ice blocks into snow. There are large hoses that we can hold and deliver (spray) snow into the entire panda exhibit,” Becerra wrote in a blog post.
The cub’s mother, Bai Yun, who resides in the same exhibit, and his father, Gao Gao, also received snow, which is funded through donations.
Xiao Liwu, which translates in English to “Little Gift,” first made his public debut at the zoo back in January. He was the sixth panda cub born at the zoo under a 12-year agreement with China that included the loan of two giant pandas.