WASHINGTON — In a bundle of cuteness, the Smithsonian National Zoo’s giant baby panda Bei Bei reached another major milestone.
Baby Bei Bei took his first step under the watchful eye of his mother, Mei Xiang, the zoo announced.
The adorable wobbly moment happened at around 4:50 p.m. Monday and, to the delight of panda watchers, was captured on video. In the clip, Mei Xiang can be seen congratulating the nearly 3-month-old panda cub with a big hug.
Ever since, the footage has been buzzing on social media — the Smithsonian’s Instagram post alone had topped 4,350 likes as of Wednesday morning.
Before the big moment, Bei Bei had spent much of his time scooting in circles and making attempts at crawling and walking. “It sort of looks like he’s swimming in the den,” a zookeeper wrote in the zoo’s Giant Panda Bulletin on Nov. 4.
Zoo officials had predicted the cub would be walking by the end of the month, based on milestones hit by prior cubs.
“Now that he’s got all four paws under him, Bei Bei will begin to wander around and leave the den on his own to explore the indoor enclosure,” zoo officials said.