Last night around 5:40 p.m., giant panda Mei Xiang left her cub to drink some water. Once again, her brief departure gave us a good look at the week-old newborn on the Panda Cam. We were encouraged to see the cub holding up its head and using its legs to lift its body off the floor slightly. These are all good signs, and Mei Xiang’s cub seems strong.
The bigger the cub gets, the more distinct its markings get. If you look closely, you can very clearly see black eye patches starting to come in. Less obvious—but still visible—are the black leg patches and saddle (the black marking on a panda's back). Over the next few days, pay close attention to its ears, which will also turn that iconic panda hue!
This story appears in the Aug. 28 issue of the Giant Panda Bulletin.