Photo of the Day #12: Giant Panda Cub

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As I mentioned in the description of yesterday’s “Photo of the Day,” when I visited the National Zoo I wanted to make sure I got there especially early, and this Giant Panda (Ailuropoda melanoleuca) cub is part of the reason. Any exhibit that holds a giant panda, especially a baby one, is going to get swamped by visitors so I wanted to make sure I had a chance to get some decent shots (although I didn’t know that the pandas would not be let out until 10 AM so I had a bit of waiting to do). This particular individual is a 2 year old male named Tai Shan, the offspring of Mei Xiang (the mother) and Tian Tian (his father), and one of the many pandas that have been successfully born in captivity.