LANHAM, Md. (CBSDC) — While the partial federal government shutdown dragged on for nearly three weeks, a lot was going on at Smithsonian’s National Zoo although it was closed.

Giant panda Mei Xiang’s cub now weighs five pounds, up from just over three pounds at her veterinary exam Sept. 26.

She has also partially opened her eyes. Her right eye started to open Oct. 4 and by Oct. 11, both had partially opened. Her ears are also fully open and she now reacts to the noises she hears in her habitat.

PHOTOS: Giant Panda Cub Getting Bigger

Mei Xiang is leaving her baby for longer periods of time to eat, drink and interact with keepers.

While her mother spends time in other parts of the habitat, the cub scoots around the den. She will not be able to walk until she is about four months old, around the same time she will make her public debut. She is strong enough, however, to push herself up on her front two legs and right herself if she is lying on her back.


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