Panda Bei Bei recovering well from surgery
Giant panda cub Bei Bei is stable and recovering following an emergency bowel obstruction surgery on Friday to remove a dense, masticated lemon-sized mass of bamboo, the Smithsonian’s National Zoo announced.
Bei Bei showed signs of stomach discomfort and nausea last Thursday. The 15-month-old giant panda cub was sleeping more than normal and not eating.
After close observation and care by zoo staff, he was taken to a veterinary hospital on Friday for further evaluation and then had the surgery to remove the bamboo that was distending his small intestine and preventing intestinal movement, the zoo said Friday.
Bei Bei is awake and recovering in the zoo’s David M. Rubenstein Giant Panda Habitat. The animal is expected to resume his regular diet son, the zoo said.
The zoo posted on its Facebook on Sunday that as of this morning, Bei Bei has taken his medications, urinated well and both Mei Xiang and Bei Bei are happily sleeping in their indoor enclosures.
Bei Bei got his name in September last year when Peng Liyuan and Michelle Obama, the first ladies of China and the United States, visited the zoo and named the then-1-monthold cub.
He has become a new darling at the national zoo. On Nov 21, giant-panda keeper Nicole MacCorkle posted on the zoo’s website about how Bei Bei has become more independent from his mother, Mei Xiang.
“It is hard to believe, but the time is rapidly approaching when he will live separately from her. He has a voracious appetite, and relies very little on milk from Mei Xiang. He weighs 90 pounds (the largest of Mei Xiang’s three cubs at this age) and gets his own diet of bamboo, biscuits, apples, sweet potatoes and pears,” wrote the giant panda keeper.
She described Tai Shan, Bei Bei’s eldest sibling who has been living in China since early 2010, as “thriving”.
The zoo announced in October that Bao Bao, another Bei Bei sibling, will return to China early next year. Under bilateral agreement, all cubs born at the zoo move to China when they are 4 years old. Bao Bao turns 4 on Aug 23, 2017.
Giant panda cub Bei Bei is recovering from a procedure on Friday to clear a bowel obstruction.