Giant Panda Cub Fit As A Fiddle After First Full Checkup
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LANHAM, Md. (CBSDC/AP) — The National Zoo’s panda cub had her first full vet examination Monday, and handlers say she weighs just under 2 pounds.
The yet-to-be-named baby was given a clean bill of health after a 20-minute exam. She is 10.6 inches long from nose to tail and 9.8 inches wide around her belly. Her eyes have not opened yet.
Zookeepers were able to perform one quick physical examination of the cub on August 25, when she was two days old. Mom Mei Xiang soon became more protective and hadn’t allowed humans to get close enough to the baby to examine it again until Monday.
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The cub will make her public debut in about four months, zookeepers say. China owns the pandas at the National Zoo and, following Chinese tradition, the baby will be named after it is 100 days old.
Mei Xiang’s only other surviving cub, a male named Tai Shan, was born in 2005 and was returned to China in 2010. Mei Xiang gave birth to a cub last year after several years of failed breeding, but the cub died after six days. Its lungs hadn’t fully developed and likely weren’t sending enough oxygen to its liver.
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