National Zoo’s giant panda cub grows

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WASHINGTON — On Thursday morning, the National Zoo’s female giant panda left her den for a while, and things happened. The zoo’s panda team closed the door behind her and scooped up her cub.

The yet-to-be named cub, 5 weeks old on Friday, underwent another veterinary exam, which the zoo said went “very well.”

The cub is continuing to bulk up, adding more than 50 percent to her weight since she was examined 10 days ago.

She grew from a bit under two pounds on Sept. 16 to 3.07 pounds on Thursday.

Her length has increased at a similar rate, going from about 10 ½ inches to more than 14.

The zoo said she appeared active, and keepers described her as wiggly and squirmy.

She has yet to open her eyes, which is normal, the zoo said.

After the exam, the cub was taken back to her den.

When her mother, Mei Xiang, returned from eating a bit of bamboo, she picked up her offspring and continued to groom her, possibly none the wiser.

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