Bao Bao Gets Ready to Live on Her Own | NBC4 Washington

Bao Bao Gets Ready to Live on Her Own

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    Bao Bao frolicked in the snow at the National Zoo Tuesday. (Published Tuesday, Jan. 6, 2015)

    Our little Bao Bao is growing up!

    Bao Bao turns 18 months old Monday, an important milestone for giant panda cubs. According to the National Zoo, cubs stop nursing and start living on their own at that age.

    And Bao Bao is well on her way, beginning the weaning process a few months ago. Her caretakers say she is eating more bamboo and spends about six hours each day separated from her mother, Mei Xiang.

    Zoo officials say Bao Bao's time away from her mother will be increased until she is eventually living on her own.

    Bao Bao's caretakers believe the process will be complete by early March.

    Bao Bao was born Aug. 23, 2013 at The National Zoo. She's just the second panda born at the zoo to survive to her first birthday. According to an agreement with the Chinese government, Bao Bao will stay at the National Zoo a total of four years and will then be sent to China.

    They grow up so fast.