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D.C.'s beloved panda, Tai Shan, stars in new web cam

Monday - 7/9/2012, 10:12pm  ET

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Baby giant panda Tai Shan and mother Mei Xiang at the National Zoo in 2005, shortly after his birth. (AP)
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WASHINGTON - When D.C.'s beloved Tai Shan left the U.S. for his new home in China two years ago, Washington-area residents were heartbroken to be losing their baby panda.

Tai Shan, which means "peaceful mountain," had attracted million of visitors from around the world to the National Zoo.

Now, Tai Shan's millions of fans from around the world can stay on top of his every move with a new live web cam.

The live feed, which launched July 9, shows Tai Shan playing, sleeping, eating in his new home in China.

This should come as some relief for Tai Shan fans who have been in panda withdrawal since his departure Feb. 4, 2010. The 4-year-old panda took a FedEx plane from Dulles Airport to Chengdu before heading to his new home at the Bifengxia Panda Base in Ya'an, Sichuan. The non-stop flight took about 14 hours.

In a 2010 news release, the Smithsonian National Zoo notes "He will have fruit (pears are his favorite), vegetables, biscuits and about 55 pounds of bamboo to keep him fed during his journey."

While he was a celebrity in Washington, Tai Shan became part of the panda breeding program at Wolong's Bifengxia Panda Base.

Tai Shan was only scheduled to stay with the zoo two years after his birth on July 9, 2005. They negotiated a two and a half year extension.

Since Tai Shan's departure, National Zoo officials anxiously monitor his mother, Mei Xiang for indications she is pregnant. In April Zoo officials live-tweeted her artificial insemination.

There is no word yet.

WTOP's Meera Pal contributed to this report. Follow WTOP on Twitter.

(Copyright 2012 by WTOP. All Rights Reserved.)