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Giant Panda Cub Eyes Open, Spending Time Apart From Mom

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The National Zoo's panda cub gets weighed and measured Oct. 29. (credit: Smithsonian's National Zoo)

The National Zoo’s panda cub gets weighed and measured Oct. 29. (credit: Smithsonian’s National Zoo)

WASHINGTON (CBSDC/AP) — The National Zoo says its female giant panda cub is growing quickly and is spending more time away from her mother.

In an update Wednesday on the zoo’s website, Panda Keeper Nicole MacCorkle writes that panda mother Mei Xiang (may SHONG) is now venturing outside for breakfast and is spending up to two hours away from her cub at a time.

Animal keepers are using Mei Xiang’s time outside to do more regular exams on the cub. They weighed and measured the cub Monday. Born Aug. 23, she now weighs about 7.7 pounds and is 23 inches long. Her front paws are 2.4 inches long, and her hind paws are 3 inches long.

Watch: Live Panda Cams

The cub’s eyes have now almost fully opened.

(TM and Copyright 2013 CBS Radio Inc. and its relevant subsidiaries. CBS RADIO and EYE Logo TM and Copyright 2013 CBS Broadcasting Inc. Used under license. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed. The Associated Press contributed to this report.)

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