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Panda Cub Passes First Health Check at the Smithsonian

Posted By : The Animal Facts Editorial Team

Date: September 15, 2020 7:45 pm

panda cub smithsonian

The panda cub at the Smithsonian's National Zoo

Photo Credit: Smithsonian's National Zoo

Giant Panda keepers at the Smithsonian National Zoo have been able to complete the first neonatal exam on their panda cub born on August 21st 2020.

After 3 weeks of dedicated care Mei Xiang left the den to eat some bamboo for long enough that keepers could access the cub. Keepers were excited to see that the cub appears healthy. This also allowed them to weigh the cub who came in at 634.8 grams—just under 1.5 pounds!

The cub has started to grow in whispy white furs to cover the pink skin which can still be seen on the muzzle, upper back and tail. It will still be another few weeks before its eyes and ears open.

While this was a short check so as not to stress Mei Xiang keepers are hopeful they will be able to conduct more thorough health checks in the coming weeks. As she begins to leave the den for longer keepers will perform more health checks. This will include charting its growth through regular weigh ins.

In the near future zoo vets will also perform a thorough health check.

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panda cub smithsonian

The panda cub at the Smithsonian's National Zoo

Photo Credit: Smithsonian's National Zoo

Another exciting milestone to look forward to is the discovery of the cubs gender. Male and female panda cubs look similar. As such the only way to determine the gender is to complete a cheek swab which will be analyzed by the Center for Conservation Genomics scientists.

You can keep up with Mei Xiang and her cub by watching the Smithsonian's National Zoo Panda Cam here – Panda Cam

Learn more about giant pandas Giant Panda Fact File | The Animal Facts

Learn more about the Smithsonian's National Zoo on their website – Smithsonian's National Zoo

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