TODAY   |  January 18, 2014

Panda cub Bao Bao greets visitors at National Zoo

At nearly five months old, the adorable baby panda Bao Bao is finally ready for her public debut. NBC’s Tom Costello reports.

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This content comes from Closed Captioning that was broadcast along with this program.

>>> hey, it's a big morning for the newest member of the smithsonian national zoo in washington. bao bao -- i always want to go, ba bow, bow. the giant panda cup has captured the watchers of the web cam and now fans will get to see her for the first time.

>> she was born in august and has been spending the last couple months getting used to her new world. tom costello was able to check in with bao bao recently to make sure she's ready for her big debut.

>> she's a little sleepy.

>> reporter: early morning at the national zoo , and bao bao is getting a weigh-in.

>> let's see how much you weigh.

>> 7.9.

>> reporter: that's more than 17 pounds. after a few measurements --

>> that is, like, 8 and 9. hi!

>> reporter: bao bao, which means precious in mandarin, gets some one-on-one time with two of her personal trainers.

>> hi! are you going to play with us?

>> want to try some sweet potato ?

>> reporter: so, by using this tactile stimulation, it's in essence an award for her being comfortable being close to me.

>> reporter: bao bao is now almost 5 months old. she sleeps about 20 hours a day, then explores her new world slowly and deliberately. with each struggling paw, she finds her way. and like any toddler, she takes a tumble. but despite her name, zookeepers insist she is strong.

>> she's just a littttle really a little mini tank.

>> reporter: this mini tank was only about 5 pounces at birth. a few weeks ago, she was introduced to snow in a bucket for the first time. enjoying some recent private time with mom, bao bao will meet her public this morning at the national zoo . for "today," tom costello, nbc news, washington.