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You'll Thank This Woman For Watching 8 Hours Of Baby Panda Live Cams Every Day

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PANDA
DoxieMom captures Bao Bao and her mother Mei Xiang snuggling on the panda cam | screenshot

Little pandas grow up so fast. One second they're barely a pound, little more than a fragile and endangered wiggling worm, next thing you know they're 300 pounds and taking baths in big tubs of cinnamon that the zookeepers have left out.

It would be easy to feel like you couldn't keep up, if one woman didn't obsessively observe these animals' 24/7 camera feeds, making video recaps of their best moments.

"DoxieMom Pandamonium," as she's known online, is a retired computer programmer who spends five to eight hours every day working on the panda baby videos, which she posts to her YouTube page with titles like "Po Broke the Hammock," "One Tub of Ice & Two Frisky Cubs" and "Xiao Liwu, Concrete Tree Hugger?!?"

"The journey I've had with the pandas, and shared with so many others, has been incredible, very emotionally rewarding and educational," DoxieMom told HuffPost by email. "I'd have to say I love watching giant panda mothers raise their cubs. It's an extraordinary experience and a rare opportunity to watch these cubs grow."

Footage Courtesy of EarthCam

The journey began in 2005, when DoxieMom found out that the National Zoo and the San Diego Zoo had video cameras trained on their new cubs -- Tai Shan and Su Lin, respectively -- that are broadcast online. She began watching these two little ones "out of curiosity as the only thing I knew about pandas was that they were endangered, cute and cuddly," she says.

Four years later, "I had just learned how to record and produce videos from online camera streams. I was watching the San Diego Zoo's mother panda Bai Yun making a nest for the possible birth of her fifth cub," she says. "I promised myself that if she gave birth I would watch and record daily, form a connection and learn about the species."

Doxie "fulfilled my promise," making daily videos of the baby "as he grew and thrived under his mother Bai Yun's nurturing care," she says. "I thought I would stop at his one-year birthday but by then I was hooked."

Luckily, her husband of 27 years -- he's known as "DoxieDad" -- is also a fan of the bears, and doesn't mind her panda habit.

"He's very supportive of my hobby," she says -- which is good, since to date, Doxie's made videos for seven panda babies: Two from the San Diego Zoo, four from Atlanta, and Doxie's latest cub, the National Zoo's baby Bao Bao, who was born last summer to mom Mei Xiang.

"With the births of Mei Lun and Mei Huan, and Bao Bao in 2013, it became a bit of a challenge as I was still following the San Diego Zoo's Xiao Liwu," Doxie says. "I can handle two zoos fairly easily. Three is challenging."

Indeed, Doxie says that she is now slowing down a little, only making new videos -- some of which get a few hundred views, others tens of thousands -- when a panda has an especially big day, "or is experiencing a new environment or enrichment for the first time."

Still, even after all these years of giving full time attention to these fluffy, bamboo-eating, endangered animals' reproductive achievements -- and they are quite amazing achievements; pandas in captivity can be so reluctant to mate, some are given porn to encourage their sex lives along -- Doxie's not at all tired of ogling the black-and-white bears.

"I am content to watch pandas for hours doing nothing but eating and sleeping. It's very relaxing," she says. "Honestly, I never dreamt that pandas could be so enriching for my soul."

Check out more of DoxieMom's panda videos on YouTube -- and email arin.greenwood@huffingtonpost.com if you've got an animal story to share

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Around the Web

Giant Panda Cam - National Zoo - Smithsonian Institution

Panda Cam | San Diego Zoo

Live Panda Cam - iPandacom

DoxieMom Pandamonium | Facebook

2012-12-28 Xiao Liwu: Climbing in the Garden Room!!! - YouTube

 
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