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TOKYO – A baby panda has made a special appearance before Tokyo's governor, a group of local schoolchildren and the media one day ahead of its official public debut.
Xiang Xiang, a 6-month-old female giant panda, will debut Tuesday in a limited public viewing for avid fans who obtained tickets through a highly competitive lottery process.
Xiang Xiang, or "Fragrance" in Chinese, was born June 12 to a resident panda at Tokyo's Ueno Zoo and now weighs more than 12 kilograms (26 pounds).
Tokyo Gov. Yuriko Koike, who was all smiles after coming out of the zoo's panda house on Monday, told reporters that the baby panda was "just adorable."
Zoo officials said Xiang Xiang's appearances will be limited to 2 1/2 hours a day for the time being to minimize stress.