Born on July 29, 2012, charismatic panda cub Xiao Liwu was unquestionably the star of the year. Photos and videos from his weekly veterinary exams have continually made national news. Watch the most recent video: youtu.be/c4JUu-kTaIs
For the cub's 15th exam, animal care staff laid out bamboo leaves, a ball, a chew toy, and an apple slice to provide new sensory experiences for Xiao Liwu, whose name means "little gift." The cub showed curiosity with these new objects by nosing the ball, crawling over to the chew toy and climbing through the bamboo. The Zoo's veterinary staff noted that it's important to allow the cub to move around and explore his new surroundings, which Xiao Liwu did by crawling around on a carpeted area.