Washington zoo's panda cub growing up

Updated: 2015-09-23 10:34

By William Hennelly(China Daily USA)

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Washington zoo's panda cub growing up

Zookeepers prepare to weigh a Giant Panda Cub at the Smithsonian's National Zoo in Washington in this picture taken September 14, 2015. [Photo/Agencies]

When giant panda Mei Xiang left her den for a bite to eat on Monday, keepers at the Smithsonian National Zoo in Washington got a chance to weigh her cub.

Turns out the little fellow, now 4 1/2 weeks old, weighs 2.95 pounds, more than his older siblings did at his age. Bao Bao weighed approximately 2 pounds, and Tai Shan weighed 2.6 pounds when they were that age.

The cub has an excellent range of motion and is able to push up onto his front legs, the zoo said in a release. He has been spotted moving around on his front legs, but he’s not yet walking.

The zoo said that on Sept 19, he reacted to the sound of a door, which shows his hearing is developed. The cub’s eyes are still closed, but he’s expected to open them within a month.

The panda and a twin were born on Aug 22, but the smaller of the pair was visibly weaker and died four days later despite constant care efforts at the zoo.