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#PandaStory: Cub Day 4

Giant panda Mei Xiang and her newborn cub continue to do well. As Mei Xiang shifts from a resting position (laying down) to a nursing position (sitting up) and vice-versa, she occasionally holds the cub delicately in her mouth.

This morning around 7 a.m., she placed the cub on the floor of the den briefly. Over the next several days, we expect to see Mei Xiang “test” the cub’s tolerance to resting on the floor. Eventually, she will briefly leave the den to get a drink of water and urinate. If the cub vocalizes, Mei Xiang will quickly return to care for it.

Male giant panda Tian Tian at the Smithsonian's National Zoo

Tian Tian will celebrate his birthday Thursday, Aug. 27.

Next door, the cub’s father Tian Tian is getting ready to celebrate a big milestone. He turns 23 years old Aug. 27! We’ll celebrate with a panda-friendly fruitsicle cake made by the Zoo’s amazing Nutrition team and some enrichment boxes filled with his favorite treats. Tune in to the Panda Cam around 9:30 a.m. Thursday to watch the festivities!

This story appears in the Aug. 25 issue of the Giant Panda Bulletin. Got a question about newborn panda care? Check out our Giant Panda Cub FAQ.