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Health Team

Panda cub gets meds in sweet potato after tummy surgery

Posted 12:47 p.m. Monday
Updated 12:49 p.m. Monday

FILE - In this Jan. 16, 2016 file photo, giant panda cub Bei Bei roams in his pen as he goes on public exhibit for the first time at the National Zoo, in Washington. The Smithsonian National Zoo said Bei Bei is recovering following surgery to remove a “lemon-sized mass of bamboo” from his small intestine. The Smithsonian said in a statement that the “life-saving” surgery was performed Friday, Nov. 25. (AP Photo/Jose Luis Magana, File)

— The Smithsonian National Zoo's giant panda cub Bei Bei is getting antibiotics and antacids via sweet potatoes after surgery to remove bamboo stuck in his intestine.

The Washington Post (http://wapo.st/2gyO2h7 ) reports the zoo says the panda cub is "bright, alert and responsive" following Friday's surgery. The paper reported Monday that the 1-year-old Bei Bei is "successfully nursing" and eating apples and softened biscuits. Not in his diet for now: bamboo.

The Smithsonian said previously that "life-saving" surgery was performed Friday after an ultrasound revealed a blockage at the top of the small intestine. Zoo officials had noticed the panda showed signs of stomach discomfort and nausea on Thursday and was sleeping more than normal and not eating.

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