National Zoo says giant panda cub healthy one month after birth
© Smithsonian's National Zoo

The Smithsonian's National Zoo said Monday its giant panda cub is healthy after a check-up over the weekend, one month after the cub was born

The zoo said in a release the panda cub’s mother, Mei Xiang, placed the cub on the floor of the den and stepped into an adjacent enclosure on Saturday morning, presenting the zoo with an opportunity to conduct a brief veterinary exam. 

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The cub weighed just over 2 pounds, or 952 grams, and from nose to tail tip measured 13.4 inches, or 34 centimeters — with the tail accounting for two of the inches, according to the zoo.

The veterinary team also listened to the cub’s heart and lungs, palpated its stomach, tested its suckle reflex and moved all four limbs to assess musculoskeletal development. The zoo said both of the cub’s eyes are closed, but the left eye is not closed as tightly and may open soon. 

“All signs point to a healthy and strong cub,” the zoo said. 

The veterinarians also took a quick swab of the cub’s cheek for DNA analysis, and should have an update on the cub’s sex in the next few weeks, the zoo said. Outwardly, male and female cubs appear similar at birth, the zoo noted.