Smithsonian National Zoo’s baby panda is one month old

Smithsonian National Zoo’s baby panda is one month old
In this image from video provided by the Smithsonian National Zoo, Mei Xiang is seen after giving birth to a Giant Panda cub Friday evening, Aug. 21, 2020, in Washington. The cub is Mei Xiang's fourth. Her first three offspring, Tai Shan, Bao Bao and Bei Bei, were transported to China at age 4 under an agreement with the Chinese government. (Source: Smithsonian National Zoo via AP)

(Gray News) - The Smithsonian National Zoo’s giant panda cub is one month old and had its very first veterinary exam over the weekend.

Mei Xiang, the cub’s mother, left the panda cub on the floor of the den and stepped into the adjacent enclosure giving veterinarians the perfect opportunity to conduct a brief exam.

The panda cub weighs just over two pounds and is about 13 inches long, according to a release by the zoo.

The veterinarians checked the cub’s heart, lungs and reflexes. They say the cub’s eyes are still closed, but may open soon. Newborn giant pandas open their eyes between 6 and 8 weeks.

All signs point to a healthy and strong panda cub.

Veterinarians were able to take a cheek swab to test the cub’s DNA to determine the sex. The Center for Conservation Genomics is where Smithsonian Conservation Biology Institute scientists will confirm the cub’s sex. This process takes a few weeks.

The cub was born on Aug. 21 and will not be named for its first hundred days in accordance with tradition.

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