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In this photo taken Dec. 14, 2015, Bei Bei, the National Zoo's newest panda and offspring of Mei Xiang and Tian Tian, is presented for members of the media at the National Zoo in Washington. The youngest giant panda cub at the National Zoo is ready for his close-up. Bei Bei will make his public debut on Jan. 16. During an audience with a small news media contingent Monday, he was so relaxed that he fell asleep and drooled on an examination table. At nearly 4 months old, Bei Bei weighs more than 17 pounds and is gaining about a pound a week. He?s bigger than his older siblings were at the same age. (AP Photo/Andrew Harnik)

The National Zoo's panda cub Bei Bei is back on display after undergoing emergency surgery


The National Zoo's giant panda cub Bei Bei is back on display, 10 days after he underwent emergency bowel obstruction surgery.

On Nov. 25, surgeons removed a dense, lemon-sized mass of bamboo that was blocking the cub's upper intestine. 

"He's definitely moving slower than he was pre-surgery and he's not moving nearly as much," said Marty Dearie, a panda keeper at the zoo. 

Bei Bei might be back on display, but zookeepers say he spent much of the day napping. 

“We're trying to also keep him a little quieter because he has an incision that's healing so we’re trying not to let him climb too much,” said Laurie Thompson, the giant pandas assistant coordinator. 

Right now, the zoo's nutritionists have restricted Bei Bei's diet to soy-protein biscuits, apples and sweet potatoes.

In the immediate aftermath of Bei Bei's surgery, veterinary staff housed the panda cub separately from his mother, Mei Xiang, for a few days.

Zookeepers said they plan to continue monitoring the giant panda cub until they reintroduce bamboo to his diet within the next few weeks. 

The zoo has been posting Facebook updates on Bei Bei's recovery since his surgery. 

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