Our panda boy received his fourth exam today. “He’s a growing like a weed,” said Meg Sutherland-Smith, D.V.M. “He’s grown quite a bit since I last saw him two days before he was born.” Very funny, Dr. Meg! She is, of course, referring to the ultrasound images she saw prior to the birth of Bai Yun’s fifth cub.
At 48 days of age, the cub weighed 5.73 pounds (2.6 kilograms) and measured 1.5 feet (45.5 centimeters) long. Our videographer and photographer were surprised that the cub was too large to be weighed by the little scale and watched as the cub was placed on the floor scale used to weigh the rest of the panda residents. Having examined many a panda cub over the years, Meg was a pro at picking the youngster up by the scruff of his neck, just like his mother would do, to help him relax during the brief examination.
Meg noted that the little bruiser’s left eye and right ear are both starting to open. She says the cub squinted when she used her flashlight, which means he can see, but she doesn’t believe he can hear yet.
For those who like to compare our cubs:
Hua Mei on Day 46: 4.75 lbs. (2.159 kg), 18.5 in. (47 cm)
Mei Sheng on Day 50: 5.25 lbs. (2.383 kg), 17 in. (43.2 cm)
Su Lin on Day 49: 5.42 lbs. (2.458 kg), 18.3 in. (46.5 cm)
Zhen Zhen on Day 48: 5.38 lbs. (2.44 kg), 15.3 in. (39 cm)
2009 cub on Day 48: 5.73 lbs (2.6 kg), 17.9 in. (45.5 cm)