Baby’s First Exam

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panda_cub_exam_9-3-09This morning, around 8, we did our first panda cub exam. Everything went very well! Bai Yun was very calm and ate during the entire exam. It was pretty challenging, trying to crawl into the den and get the cub. Bai had done an extremely good job of threading/weaving bamboo to make a nest! See video!

Kathy gently holds the little one.

Kathy gently holds the little one.

We were very fortunate that the little one had a nursing bout before the exam. This really helps settle the cub, and believe me, this one was very CALM about the whole process! The cub, who is 29 days old, weighed in at 1,259 grams (2.8 pounds), nice and chubby, and was 14.7 inches (37 centimeters) long. Our veterinarian, Dr. Jeff Pye, performed the exam and also took some measurements.
Our baby was pronounced very healthy and was already trying to do some head lifts on the exam table!

When the five-minute exam was finished, I put baby back into the den, and Bai was reunited with her cub. Bai very calmly picked baby up and rested. I have to say this was one of our best first exams on a cub: baby did not cry and Bai was not stressed.

I am sure by now you are all wringing your hands as to what the sex is. I saved the best part for last! Our fifth baby panda is…A BOY!

Kathy Hawk is a senior keeper at the San Diego Zoo.

More photos

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