Our Panda Cub is Giant!

When Mei Xiang left her den to eat on Sept. 21, keepers took the opportunity to get the latest weight on our not-so-little-anymore giant panda cub. At 4.5 weeks old, the cub weighs 2.95 pounds (1,139 grams). He has now surpassed both of his older siblings in size when they were the same age: Bao Bao weighed approximately 2 pounds, and Tai Shan weighed 2.6 pounds!

According to the vet team, he has an excellent range of motion and is able to push up onto his front legs. On Sept. 17, the cub measured 31 centimeters from his head to the tip of his tail. From his head to the base of his tail he measured 27 centimeters. His right front leg was 10 centimeters long, and his right hind leg was 9 centimeters long.  He isn't walking yet, but keepers have seen him scooting around the den using his front legs. Watch the exam on YouTube.

Recently, the cub reacted to the sound of a door moving, which indicates that he can now hear! His eyes are still closed, which is normal. They should open in the next two to four weeks.

This Friday, a s part of the official State Visit of the People's Republic of China to the United States, First Lady Michelle Obama will host Madame Peng Liyuan, First Lady of the People's Republic of China, for a visit to the Zoo! The First Ladies will visit the Panda House to commemorate over four decades of scientific collaboration and giant panda conservation between the United States and China. While at the National Zoo, Mrs. Obama and Madame Peng Liyuan will make a special announcement. Please note that portions of the Zoo will be closed on Friday for this event.