National Zoo's Panda Cub Receives First Veterinary Exam

The panda cub received a clean bill of health in her first full veterinary exam Monday

By Hoai-Tran Bui
|  Tuesday, Sep 17, 2013  |  Updated 11:33 PM EDT
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    She still hasn't opened her eyes yet, but the National Zoo's celebrated new panda cub is starting to look more like, well, a panda.

    The cub -- who, according to Chinese custom, will be named on her 100th day -- got her first full veterinary exam Monday, and vets deemed her hale and healthy.

    Plus, panda fans got new pictures of the little cub, which is starting to show the signature black and white markings of a panda.

    The cub, whose gender was revealed with great fanfare two weeks ago, has more than doubled her weight since her preliminary health check Aug. 15. She weighs slightly less than two pounds, is 10.6 inches long from her nose to tail and is 9.8 inches wide around her belly.

    The veterinarian team was able to complete the exam when her doting mom, Mei Xiang, finally left her cub’s side after more than three weeks to eat bamboo and drink water in the nearby enclosure.

    “It’s amazing to see how much she has grown in less than one month,” Senior Curator and Curator of Giant Pandas Brandie Smith said. “Mei Xiang continues to be a great mom, as she was with her first cub, Tai Shan, and it shows.”

    After the exam was completed at 4:31 p.m., Mei Xiang returned to her den and immediately began to groom the cub.

    The David M. Rubenstein Family Giant Panda Habitat remains closed to the public until further notice to provide quiet for Mei Xiang and her cub. Both can be viewed online by the panda cams.

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