See the National Zoo's Baby Panda Take His First Steps

Xiao Qi Ji took his first steps on Thanksgiving

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The National Zoo’s baby panda has taken his first steps — and mama bear Mei Xiang slept through it all.

Xiao Qi Ji took his first steps on Thanksgiving, but the zoo waited until Friday to share the happy news with the world.

Ahead of the big moment, the little panda cub was napping outside the den as Mei Xiang took a well-deserved rest.

When he wanted to go closer to mom, Xiao Qi Ji didn’t wait for parental permission to go on the move.

The cub pushed himself up on four paws and took a few wobbly steps toward mom before toppling over, the zoo said.

Photos: Early Glimpses of National Zoo's Newborn Panda Cub

Mei Xiang turned to look at her cub just as he tumbled onto his side. This is her fourth cub to reach the first-step milestone, after all.

Xiao Qi Ji, whose name translates to “little miracle,” is still practicing his walking skills, the zoo says.

He’s also growing well. At his last checkup on Wednesday, the cub was “bright-eyed” and eager to practice walking and crawling on the table

Xiao Qi Ji weighed 12.4 pounds and measured 25.6 inches long.

The National Zoo’s giant panda cub has been named Xiao Qi Ji, meaning "little miracle" in Mandarin Chinese. It was one of four names offered for a public online vote to help the Smithsonian choose a moniker for the baby panda.
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