There is nothing children and animals like more than receiving a new toy. It’s something that is universal among all species, and the reality is that play is an integral part of growing up. Playing with new toys is a great way to help the young mind develop, giving children and animals new and exciting ways to interact with their surroundings, and ultimately helping them to develop valuable life skills.
For one baby panda, the toy that he is currently obsessed about is a large green ball.
In an extremely cute video filmed by the San Diego Zoo, it’s clear that he is really having a lot of fun playing around with it.
The baby panda, named Xiao Liwu, was given the ball as part of his 18th exam, it says in the YouTube video description.
“Panda keepers gave the cub the ball to test his coordination and encourage him to play with new objects,” the description reads.
He was just a few months old at the time.
The normal procedure at a panda exam is they give the young pandas various objects to play with, encouraging them to interact and learn more about the world around them.
In this case, little Xiao Liwu was given two balls, some bamboo, and a limb trimmed from a tree according to a blog post made by zookeepers.
Both the tree limb and bamboo were things that he had seen before, but the ball was something new. That is where he devoted almost all of his attention.
In fact, at one point, his caretakers try to take the green ball away from him, and he hangs on tightly, refusing to let it go.
It is the cutest little tantrum we have ever seen.
Whenever the ball would happen to pop out of his grip, caretakers would roll it back to him and he would happily latch back on. This engaging game kept Xiao entertained pretty much the entire exam.
When nutritionist Jennifer Parsons went to take Xiao’s measurements, she had to slide the tape measure in between the ball and him to get them all recorded properly.
Normally Xiao puts up a protest, but when Parsons took his face measurements, he was so distracted with his new toy that it was like he didn’t even notice.
For other measurements, Xiao had to be rolled onto his back.
Thanks to the green ball, vets were able to complete their checkup incredibly easily. It turns out that for that age, Xiao Liwu was in great shape.
He weighed in at 14.5 pounds and was 29 inches long from head to tail.
Since the video was originally filmed, Xiao has gone on to become a big and healthy adult. Although he is not quite as cute as he once was, he is still a very amazing animal. To this day, Xiao is happily living in the San Diego Zoo.
Watch the cute video below to see baby Xiao Liwu’s 18th panda exam in its entirety.
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