(SAN DIEGO) — 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 8-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.
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.
“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,” Jennifer Becerra, a senior keeper at the San Diego Zoo, 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.
The big snow day seemed to tucker out the little cub, who napped for two hours after the morning romp in the snow, according to the zoo’s website.
Mother Bai Yun, who has experienced snow several times during her stay at the San Diego Zoo, also seemed to enjoy herself, according to the zoo’s website, rolling, tumbling and sliding around.
Fans can stay up to date on the playful cub’s every move on the zoo’s panda cam, a live stream that has captured Xiao Liwu’s activities since his public debut.
Copyright 2013 ABC News Radio
Matt McFarland, CNN
Sandra Gonzalez, CNN