Bei Bei Recovering From Emergency Surgery

Bei Bei Recovering From Emergency Surgery

The youngest panda Bei Bei at the Smithsonian National Zoo in Washington recovering from an emergency surgery to remove an obstruction caught in his bowels.

Bei Bei started showing signs of stomach discomfort and nausea on Thanksgiving Day, and keepers noticed he was sleeping more than normal and not eating. An ultra-sound revealed the problem: a lemon-sized mass of bamboo blocking his intestines.

Soon after, veterinary surgeon Sebastian Gordon stepped in to removed the mass.

As he recoups, Bei Bei will be nourished delicate sustenance, for example, sweet potatoes and pears, before transitioning to his customary eating regimen of bamboo.

Bei Bei, which means "precious", will not appear on the zoo's live panda cam video footage on the zoo's website until he feels better. "Bei Bei's prognosis is very good".

However, Kelly admitted that monitoring the little panda safely to ensure smooth and fast recovery remains a challenge for zoo keepers.

Due to the sensitive nature of Bei Bei's surgery, zoo officials have made a decision to temporarily close the David M. Rubinstein Giant Panda Habitat, where the panda cub can normally be seen. "There is every expectation Bei Bei will return to his normal diet in the near future".

The panda team promised daily updates on the zoo's social media accounts. "We will keep everyone up to speed as he recovers", Kelly added. Bei Bei just celebrated his first birthday this September. The indoor area of the panda exhibit will also be closed for several days, although the zoo's three healthy pandas will be on display outside. He will be housed separately from Mei Xiang, his mother, during his recovery. The panda house is incidentally shut, however Bao, Tian and Mei Xiang can be seen from their outside yards.

Bei Bei was named by Michelle Obama and the First Lady of the People's Republic of China Peng Liyuan last September.