National Zoo's Panda Cub Now Weighs 8 Pounds; Will Soon Be Walking, Teething

The cub also had her first glimpse of the world outside her den recently

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    National Zoo

    The milestones are coming frequently for the National Zoo's panda cub these days.

    An update Friday from the zoo reports that the cub -- who's up to a "hefty" 8.14 pounds -- has had her first glimpse of the world outside her den, and is on the verge of walking and teething.

    Her tail is starting to shrink relative to the size of her body, the zoo says. Vets were recorded taking this important measurement a few weeks back, with the cub famously squealing in outrage.

    Keepers say they're starting to see ridges in the cub's mouth where her teeth will erupt, and the cub is spending a lot of time scooting and crawling around the den.

    Devoted mom Mei Xiang brought the cub outside their den for the first time last Sunday. Mei brought her into their larger indoor exhibit for only about 30 seconds before bringing her back inside.

    But since then, Mei and cub have taken several more brief excursions into the outside world, although she won't be ready to be seen by public debut for a while, the zoo says.

    Zookeepers are also beginning training the cub, working for now on just getting her used to their presence and noise.

    The zoo's update Friday included a reminder for panda fans everywhere to vote online to help choose the cub's name. The options are Bao Bao, Ling Hua, Long Yun, Mulan and Zhen Bao. 

    The poll will be open through Nov. 22, and the new name will be announced on the cub's 100th day of life during a ceremony Dec. 1.


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