If this video of a baby panda playing ball does not melt your heart, then you are most probably dead.
Seriously, you brute, it's San Diego Zoo's newest panda cub working on his motor skills like the good little solider that he is.
Xiao LiWu (formerly nicknamed "Sausage") was born in July and is in training to be shown, like a debutante, publicly at the zoo.
Playing ball: Baby Xiao LiWu clutches his new toy
Our panda cub is preparing for his debut on exhibit. For him, this is a natural progression as his skill set advances, and he becomes more agile. A month or so ago, Xiao LiWu was a fairly immobile little bear, content to sleep for hours inside the den while his mother stretched her legs in other areas of the facility. Now, his ability to crawl has transformed into good walking skills, and he is ambling around regularly.
Recently, the cub walked, on his own, a good distance toward the north exhibit where he will first meet his admiring public. He got nearly to the door of that exhibit when he encountered a barrier: a slider door in the open position jutted into his travel path about a foot. He investigated the slider and pressed up against it, spending several minutes working the problem this obstacle presented. Ultimately, he couldn’t quite figure out how to go around, as his mother had done on her pass through the tunnel. Deterred, he turned around and headed back to the den for a nap. Before he is regularly on exhibit, he will have figured out how to overcome little adversities like this one.
Having watched the video, we're inclined to suggest Xiao LiWu (whose name means "little gift") sticks to his day job of just being disgustingly adorable. Who cares about all that other stuff.