Panda Cub Well Conditioned

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Dr. Amanda White exams the cub.

Dr. Amanda White exams the cub.

When keeper Holly brought the panda cub out for his second exam yesterday, I was quite surprised at how big he was! Indeed, he is what we would call “well conditioned!” And with milk on his lips, too! What a cutie!!

At this point, the cub’s eyes and ears are still closed, and this is normal. We expect the eyes and ears to open any time now, most likely before he is about 50 days old. Although we can begin to feel teeth below the gum line, we would not expect to see the teeth until he is 11 to 12 weeks old at the earliest. His lungs sound good, and his heart sounds strong, and he gave us a few vocalizations during the exam. And Mom has been feeding him very well!! Everything looks great!

It was an absolute joy to examine this little guy! Here at the Zoo, every day is an adventure, and I feel very lucky to be working with our panda cub!! How fun it will be to watch him grow!

Amanda White, D.V.M., is the San Diego Zoo’s Zoological Medicine Resident.