Panda Exam 9: Crawling

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Keeper Juli brings in the bright-eyed boy.

Today, keeper Juli and I got to work with the cub during his 9th exam. I had not held the cub since exam #2, and he has grown significantly since then. It is amazing and a privilege to watch his daily milestones.

Now 11 weeks old, he is 21.6 inches (55 centimeters) long and weighs 7.2 pounds (3.3 kilograms), which is the same weight as last week, but he is more active now, climbing out of the den by himself. PK Robbins, the attending veterinarian, did notice that his little canines are starting to come in under his gums, and he is starting to get a spot on his tail.

Jennifer enjoys her special time with the cub.

This little guy definitely loves the camera, as he was trying to crawl toward our Zoo photographer, during the entire exam, raising one front paw, followed clumsily by the other. PK said it was “like a toddler holding onto the furniture.” His physical development is on track for a panda his age. He is just starting to stand up on all four paws and is working on his balance.

Jennifer Becerra is a senior keeper at the San Diego Zoo. Read her previous post, Panda Cub Exam 3.

View more images from today’s exam in our Panda Photo Gallery.

Click chart to enlarge.