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Weekly Giant Panda Cub Update from the Smithsonian's National Zoo

  • perky cub on exam table

Keepers had an opportunity to weigh the 4.5 week-old giant panda cub yesterday, Sept. 21, when Mei Xiang left her den to eat. He weighs 2.95 pounds (1,339 grams) and has now surpassed both of his older siblings in size when they were the same age. At 4-and-a-half weeks old, Bao Bao weighed approximately 2 pounds, and Tai Shan, weighed 2.6 pounds (1,181grams).

At a veterinary exam 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. Veterinarians reported that he has an excellent range of motion and is able to push up onto his front legs. Keepers have seen him scooting around the den using his front legs, but he is not walking yet.

Saturday, Sept. 19, 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. Keepers and veterinarians expect them to open in the next two to four weeks.

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