Pets & Animals

National Zoo prepares for debut of adorable 4-month-old giant panda

The National Zoo in Washington, D.C. is nearly ready to unveil its newest star. And this one will give you the warm fuzzies all over!

Bei Bei (which means "precious treasure") is a giant panda who hasn't quite reached his giant-ness yet...since he's just 4 months old. But he's on his way weighing in at 17 pounds.

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Meet Bei Bei! National Zoo Debuts Newest Panda Cub

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Meet Bei Bei! National Zoo Debuts Newest Panda Cub

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MORE: Panda twins! It's twice the delight as Mei Xiang gives birth at the National Zoo

Earlier this week, TODAY got a special close-up look at the little guy, who will be released into his public exhibit Jan. 16, 2016.

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Andrew Harnik / AP
Oh, Bei Bei!

He was born on Aug. 22 with a littermate who did not survive more than a few days.

TODAY

Currently the Giant Panda Habitat at the National Zoo houses four giant pandas: Tian Tian (adult male), Mei Xiang (Adult female), Bao Bao (young female) and Bei Bei, who's been kept under wraps while he grows. The first Giant Panda to arrive at the Zoo showed up in 1972, and they've become a regular tourist-attracting magnet.

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Snow Fun: Giant Pandas Delight Visitors With Seasonal Antics

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Snow Fun: Giant Pandas Delight Visitors With Seasonal Antics

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Follow Randee Dawn on Twitter.

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