National Zoo’s Panda Cub Weighs 5 Pounds!

Zookeepers provided the first updates on its growing panda cub Thursday morning, hours after the government shutdown ended.

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The National Zoo provided the first updates on its growing panda cub Thursday morning, hours after the government shutdown -- and its ensuing media blackout -- ended. The cub, now eight weeks old, weighs more than five pounds, and her eyes have partially opened.
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Keepers noticed her right eye began to open Oct. 4, and a week later, both eyes had partially opened, they said. Her ears are open and she is reacting to the noises she hears in the panda house.
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While the still-unnamed cub won't be walking until she's about four months old, she is strong enough to push herself up on her front two legs, and to turn herself over when lying on her back.
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Her big brother, Tai Shan, was frequently photographed in plastic storage containers during his babyhood.
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The zoo said staff members are working to bring the Panda Cam back online. While the website appeared functional Thursday morning, the livestream was not working. It's unknown whether it was still down or crippled by volume as users around the region rush to get their first glimpse of the cub in more than three weeks.
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The National Zoo will reopen to visitors Friday morning, although the cub will not be on view until she is older.
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She'll be named at 100 days old.
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At five pounds, she's grown significantly since the 3.07 pounds she weighed at her Sept. 26 vet exam.
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Keepers say she looks like both her mom and her dad, with eye markings shaped like mother Mei Xiang's and a back saddle shaped like father Tian Tian's.
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The cub was born to great excitement Aug. 23, although her twin later arrived stillborn.
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