Ueno Zoo Readies For Panda Cub Xiang Xiang's Debut Dec. 19

Ueno Zoo readies for panda cub Xiang Xiang's debut Dec. 19

For a nation enthralled with Xiang Xiang, the giant panda born in June at Tokyo's Ueno Zoo, the chance to see her on Dec. 19 has zoo officials bracing for "pandamonium."

Xiang Xiang's first public appearance that day, when she turns 190 days old, follows the zoo's tradition of unveiling panda cubs about six months after their birth.

Zoo officials said a weekday, rather than a weekend, was chosen for her coming out due to the huge crowds expected to pack the zoo in Ueno District.

Xiang Xiang, born June 12, is the third panda born and raised at Ueno Zoo, after Tong Tong in 1986 and You You in 1988. She will become the first panda cub to make her debut there in 29 years.

The officials said keepers have been preparing for her big day by training the cub to become accustomed to people and to install more monitoring devices in the panda pen.