Panda Cub Bei Bei Recovering From Emergency Surgery | NBC Southern California
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Panda Cub Bei Bei Recovering From Emergency Surgery

Bei Bei underwent an emergency bowel obstruction surgery to remove a dense, masticated lemon-sized mass of bamboo

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    The National Zoo's giant panda cub is recovering from an emergency surgery, but zoo officials say the prognosis is "very good."

    Bei Bei underwent an emergency bowel obstruction surgery to remove a dense, masticated lemon-sized mass of bamboo, the zoo said Friday. 

    "Bei Bei's prognosis is very good. The challenge will be for our team to monitor him safely and that requires his cooperation," said Director Dennis Kelly.

    Keepers noticed the 15-month-old cub was showing signs of stomach discomfort and nausea Thursday. Bei Bei was taken to a veterinary hospital the next morning, where vets found the blockage at the top of his small intestine. The veterinary team determined the mass would have to be removed surgically. 

    Bei Bei is now awake and recovering in the David M. Rubenstein Giant Panda Habitat. He will be kept separate from his mother, Mei Xiang, and monitored overnight. 

    Zoo officials say he will be given water overnight and then transitioned to soft foods. When bamboo is reintroduced into his diet, it will likely be finely cut leaves, the zoo said. 

    Bei Bei is expected to return to his normal diet in the near future.