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panda cub growth chart

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Reflections on Xiao Liwu

Xiao Liwu enjoyed the "little gifts" that hung from the tree on his birthday.

Xiao Liwu enjoyed the “little gifts” that hung from the tree on his 1st birthday.

For the three years that I’ve been working at the Giant Panda Research Station as a panda narrator, it has been a treat to watch our panda cubs grow. Xiao Liwu is the second panda cub I’ve watched grow up, and with his first birthday just passing I can’t believe how fast he’s grown!

I remember when he was just learning how to climb in the classroom exhibit. Starting very slow but steady, he would slip a few times, just as cubs may do when learning this skill. Then once he tried a couple more times, he got the hang of it. Sooner or later he was climbing to the higher branches in his tree, finding a comfy place to take a nap. Now he’s a pro! He sometimes tries to be quite the daredevil and hang upside down in his tree. Like kids, he LOVES to be a ham.

My favorite quality about Wu is that he’s very inquisitive and observant. He is always watching Bai Yun and is curious about what she does. One afternoon, Wu joined Bai Yun at the front of the exhibit and sat next to her while she was eating. He watched her for a moment, grabbed a piece of bamboo, and tried to copy her. He tried so hard to peel the tough stalk with his teeth just like Mom. Eventually, he gave up and started playing with her ears.

Xiao Liwu is also very smart. He’s doing so well with his training. Whenever I watch him training with his keepers, I’m amazed how quickly he picks up on the behaviors. Wu is learning to walk into his bedroom from the exhibit when the bedroom door opens and to touch his nose on a target. Of course, they MUST have honey water as his treat.

I feel so privileged to watch Mr. Wu learn how to be a bear. I see the joy he brings to our guests, our keepers, and our narrators. I must say, he is my favorite Little Gift.

Alyssa Medeiros is a panda narrator at the San Diego Zoo. Read her previous post, Panda Cub: Adventurer.

This panda cub growth chart shows that Xiao Liwu is about the same size as his sister, Zhen Zhen, just a few days before his first birthday. Click on image to enlarge.

This panda cub growth chart shows that Xiao Liwu is about the same size as his sister, Zhen Zhen, was at the same age. The measurements were taken just a few days before his first birthday. Click on image to enlarge.

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Panda Growth Chart

Some of our panda fans have been requesting our most recent chart comparing weight gains with the five cubs who have been born at the San Diego Zoo over the years. Thanks to our Nutritional Services Department, below is a chart graphing each cub’s first three years. Of course, Yun Zi is still in the 800-day range, but it looks like he’s right in the middle of the pack! Click on the image to view it full size.

 

 

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Panda Cub Chart

Thanks to our nutritionist, Dr. Mike Schlegel, we have obtained our latest panda cub growth chart. It compares the weights of the five pandas born a the San Diego Zoo over the years. The numbers on the side show the weight (in kilograms) and the numbers on the bottom of the chart indicate cub age in days. Click on the thumbnail image to view it in its larger format and see how Yun Zi compares to his siblings!

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Panda Cub Comparisons

I find it so interesting to see the weight comparisons of the five pandas born at the San Diego Zoo. The chart below was provided by our helpful Nutrition Department staff. You’ll have to scroll down a bit to see it, as it’s large. I added a photo of Yun Zi with two of his toys, just for fun. Enjoy!