By Linh Bui

WASHINGTON (WJZ) — A very exciting day at the National Zoo as panda cub Bao Bao finally meets the public. Her debut drew a huge crowd of fans.

Linh Bui has reaction to her big appearance.

We’ve been eagerly tracking Bao Bao’s progress for months via the Panda Cam, but now she’s stepping in front of the general public.

Once the animal keeper carries Bao Bao to the window, National Zoo visitors are awestruck.

The panda cub summed up in one word–cute.

“You can hear the ‘Ohs’ and ‘Ahs’ on the inside of the exhibit when we’re in there with her, so it’s really great to see that,” animal keeper Nicole MacCorkle said. “That’s the best part for me is to be able to share her.”

“It’s so great to see her. I mean, who gets to see that much cuteness every day when they go to work?” she continued. “I enjoy it and I’m thankful ever day. It’s really great to see everybody else react to her. We’ve been looking forward to this day.”

Ten thousand visitors are expected to come see Bao Bao through the holiday weekend. She’s only about 5 months old, sleeping most of the time. But in a matter of weeks, we could see her playing outside.

“There’s definitely going to be a lot more activity coming up in the next month or so,” MacCorkle said.

“I was more excited than my children because I was more aware of what was going on,” said Andrea Zappone. “But we recognize how special of an occasion it is. We feel so fortunate to live in the D.C. area.”

Traveling near and far–just to get a glimpse of Bao Bao.

“Some people go some place to drink and party. I go to see pandas,” said Lisa Washam.

Zoo keepers say Bao Bao is a healthy size and has an easy-going temperament. She sleeps about half the day.

If you want to visit Bao Bao, the National Zoo has extended hours at the panda house through Monday.

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