How is U.S.-born panda Bao Bao adapting to China?

Updated 2017-02-27 10:05:22 CGTN
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The screenshot shows a Chinese keeper feeds Bao Bao with bamboo shoots at the Dujiangyan Panda base of The Giant Panda Protection and Research Center of China on February 26, 2017.

The screenshot shows a Chinese keeper feeds Bao Bao with bamboo shoots at the Dujiangyan Panda base of The Giant Panda Protection and Research Center of China on February 26, 2017.

U.S.-born giant panda Bao Bao is five days into her one-month quarantine following her arrival back in China on Wednesday.

The three-year-old panda grew up at the Smithsonian's National Zoo in Washington, DC, but is now staying in a 100-square-meter enclosure at the Dujiangyan Panda base, near Chengdu, in southwest China's Sichuan Province.

During her isolation, she will need to adapt to many new things: from new food, to the local dialect.

In the first few days, Bao Bao preferred American biscuits and always threw the more Chinese "wowotou", a kind of steamed corn bread, aside, according to the Chinese keepers. She now eats local bamboo and bamboo shoots, while her keepers have tried mixing "wowotou" with biscuits for her to adapt to Chinese food more easily and more quickly.

Another challenge for Bao Bao has been to learn the local Sichuan dialect. Her keepers say U.S.-born Bao Bao responded quickly to English commands, but did not understand the Sichuan dialect.

She will still need some time to learn the local language to better understand her keepers. But they can already communicate with Bao Bao using body language and gestures, such as patting and hugging.

Panda cubs born in the U.S. to parents on loan from China have to be returned to China before they are four years old, according to an agreement between China and the U.S..

Before Bao Bao, Mei Lun and Mei Huan, the first pair of giant panda twins born in the U.S., faced similar challenges when they returned to China from the U.S. last November. They have since adjusted to their new home at the Chengdu Research Base of Giant Panda Breeding.

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