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Baby panda charms select guests, media ahead of public debut in Tokyo

/ 02:48 PM December 18, 2017

Giant panda cub Xiang Xiang takes a nap at a cage at Ueno Zoo in Tokyo on Monday, December 18, 2017. The baby panda has made a special appearance before Tokyo’s governor, a group of local schoolchildren, and the media one day before her official debut. The 6-month-old giant panda Xiang Xiang, or “Fragrance” in Chinese, is set to debut on Tuesday for a limited public viewing for avid fans, who obtained tickets in a highly competitive lottery process. (AP Photo/Shizuo Kambayashi)

TOKYO — A baby panda has made a special appearance before Tokyo’s governor, a group of local schoolchildren, and the media one day before its official public debut.

Xiang Xiang, a 6-month-old female giant panda, is set to debut on Tuesday in a limited public viewing for avid fans, who obtained tickets through a highly competitive lottery process.

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Xiang Xiang, or “Fragrance” in Chinese, was born June 12 to a resident panda at Tokyo’s Ueno Zoo and now weighs more than 12 kilograms (26 pounds).

Tokyo Gov. Yuriko Koike, who was all smiles after coming out of the zoo’s panda house on Monday, told reporters that the baby panda was “just adorable.”

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Zoo officials said Xiang Xiang’s appearances would be limited to 2 1/2 hours a day for the time being to minimize stress on the animal.      /kga

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TAGS: Animal, baby panda, Fragrance, Japan, Lottery, Ueno zoo, Xiang Xiang
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