Bao Bao, the recently born panda cub at the National Zoo, ventured outside for the first time on Tuesday past. I was there a couple of days later and watched as she spent 20 minutes trying to figure out how to get down out of the tree she had climbed into. I went back the next day (yesterday) and she was climbing every tree in the exhibit and getting down without a problem, always under the watchful eye of her mother, Mei Xian. In the second picture you can see the metal rings that have been placed round most of the trees in the exhibit to ensure she doesn't climb too far too soon. As well as exploring by herself Bao Bao also spends time hanging out with Mei Xian. In the last two pictures Bao Bao had started exploring a hole in the ground and Mei Xian for whatever reason wanted to stop her. In the first of these two Mei is trying to get hold of Bao to drag her away; in the second she manages to do so. It was also fascinating to see Mei preventing Bao from climbing the bigger trees in the exhibit and generally just to observe her keeping an eye on what Bao was up to and intervening when necessary.