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1 D.C. Resident Doesn't Think The Snowfall Was A Bear To Get Through

STEVE INSKEEP, HOST:

Now let's report on someone who plunged without fear into the snow and cold. A snow storm, of course, shut down many parts of the eastern United States over the weekend. One resident of Washington, D.C., took a chance to go out and play. Brandie Smith has been watching him.

BRANDIE SMITH: I think a lot of people have seen the video of our male giant panda Tian Tian playing in the snow.

INSKEEP: Smith is associate director of animal care sciences at the Smithsonian National Zoo. The video of Tian Tian has gone viral.

SMITH: Giant pandas, they love the snow, especially Tian Tian. He's 19 years old, but during the first snowfall of the year he acts like a cub. So we know he's going to be outside playing, rolling down the hill, climbing up trees, and he didn't disappoint us this year.

INSKEEP: She would like to think of Tian Tian as a kind of mascot for the storm. Behind every great panda, of course, there is a zoo staff. She says most of the National Zoo's animal care staff counted as essential personnel during the storm.

SMITH: When you work with five animals, you can't fail. Nothing bad can happen. So we had plans, contingency plans and contingency plans for our contingency plans. We were ready for this storm, and all of our animals made it through.

INSKEEP: As did the staff. That's Brandie Smith, the National Zoo in Washington. Transcript provided by NPR, Copyright NPR.

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