SCIENCE

Adorable Panda Cub Bei Bei Makes A Very Sleepy Public Debut

Nap time, all the time.

Bei Bei is kind of a big deal. But he just doesn't care.

The adorable giant panda cub fell asleep -- once again -- during his official public debut at the Smithsonian National Zoo in Washington, D.C., on Saturday.

In video posted online, zoo biologist Laurie Thompson gently places the 5-month-old cub in his enclosure. But he soon tumbles headfirst onto the floor and immediately starts napping.

"He's just tired," Thompson says, before opening the exhibit doors to dozens of excited visitors patiently waiting outside.

Bei Bei has a habit of dozing off at landmark moments. He snoozed his way through his media debut last month and hardly kept his eyes open during a medical checkup last week.

Photographs taken later on Saturday show he did eventually wake up and got on with thoroughly investigating his new surroundings.

Pandas find it notoriously difficult to reproduce, and Bei Bei and his twin brother -- who sadly died shortly after birth -- were both the result of artificial insemination.

Bei Bei, born Aug. 22, lives at the zoo with parents Tian Tian and Mei Xiang and his 2-year-old sister Bao Bao. He's been on display to zoo members since Jan. 8, but Saturday was the first time the general public could catch a glimpse.

It's planned that he'll head to China when he's 4 years old to begin fathering even more cute baby panda cubs.

Can't get to Washington to see Bei Bei? Don't worry, you can still catch up on his antics via the zoo's "Giant Panda cam" here.

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