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Public gets first look at S.D. Zoo’s baby panda

The giant panda cub born at the San Diego Zoo five months ago made his public debut Thursday.

The gates to Yun Zi’s exhibit area will be open to the public for three hours a day, from 9 a.m. until noon, for the next couple of weeks so the public can get a glimpse at him, zoo officials said.

While there is no guarantee the cub will be in the yard at that time, zoo officials said Yun Zi has been leaving his den regularly during that time of day.

The hours will be expanded when Yun Zi and his mother become more comfortable with the public, zoo officials said.

Yun Zi was born on Aug. 5. He is the fifth cub born to Bai Yun at the San Diego Zoo. Her first cub, Hua Mei, was born in 1999, followed by Mei Sheng in 2003, Su Lin in 2005 and Zhen Zhen in 2007. His father is Gao Gao.

The name Yun Zi means “son of cloud’” and was chosen from among 6,300 recommendations by the public. The name pays tribute to the cub’s mother, Bai Yun, which means “white cloud.”