The National Zoo's giant panda gave birth to tiny twins over the weekend -- and, just like all newborn pandas, they're tiny, blind and nearly hairless. So when do they start looking like, well, pandas? Take a look back at how their big sister, Bao Bao, grew up.
Smithsonian's National Zoo
The National Zoo's giant panda Mei Xiang gave birth to tiny twins over the weekend -- and, just like all newborn pandas,
they're tiny, blind and nearly hairless. So when do they start looking like, well, pandas? Take a look back at how their big sister, Bao Bao, grew up. Composite by NBC Washington.
Smithsonian's National Zoo
The image on the left shows Bao Bao on Aug. 25, 2013, just two days after her birth, weighing 4.8 ounces. On the right, we see one of her new little siblings Sunday, weighing about 4.86 ounces at one day old. (This is the larger of the two newborns).
Composite by NBC Washington.
Panda cubs are widely described as being about the size of a stick of butter. Here, a tiny, two-day-old Bao Bao gets a vet exam on Aug. 25, 2013.
Like her newborn siblings, Bao Bao once fit easily in the palm of a vet's hand.
CUTENESS ALERT: After just a couple of weeks, Bao Bao began looking a bit more like... well... an actual panda. It took zoo vets about three weeks to be able to conduct a full exam -- protective mama Mei Xiang wasn't having it any earlier. Here's Bao Bao on Sept. 16, 2013.
Bao Bao grew quickly, weighing in at slightly less than two pounds on Sept. 16, 2013. Her signature black panda markings had shown up by then, too.
By the time Bao Bao was a month old, she'd entered that precious Plastic Container Phase. On Sept. 26, 2013, keepers deemed her healthy, "wiggly and squirmy." By then, Bao Bao was tipping the scales at more than three pounds.
Bao Bao was very active and was trying to crawl, but she wasn't quite able to support her own weight yet. (Sept. 26, 2013)
On Oct. 17, 2013, keepers announced Bao Bao had crossed the five-pound mark, and her eyes partially opened.
Keepers noticed Bao Bao's right eye began to open Oct. 4, 2013, and a week later, both eyes had partially opened, they said. Her ears had also opened and she was reacting to the noises she hears in the panda house.
At eight weeks old, she was strong enough to push herself up on her front two legs, and to turn herself over when lying on her back. (Oct. 17, 2013)
At this point, the zoo also provided a
now-iconic video of Bao Bao screeching in indignation over having to be measured during her exam. The HORROR! (Oct. 17, 2013)
On Oct. 23, 2013, Bao Bao snoozed through a vet exam.
But she did wake up at some point, and waved to the camera. (Oct. 23, 2013)
Bao Bao (still an expert waver) weighed in at 7.7 pounds at about nine weeks old. (Oct. 29, 2013)
Over the weekend of Nov. 16-17, Bao Bao took a few steps -- her first -- but at one point, tired herself out to the point that she had to stop and take a nap. Hey, it happens.
By Nov. 15, Bao Bao weighed more than 10 pounds. At this point, she was still officially without a name -- it wouldn't be announced until a ceremony on her 100th day of life, Dec. 1, 2013.
Happy birthday, Bao Bao! In August 2014, she got to chow down on a fruitsicle cake for her first birthday.
On Saturday, Bao Bao became a big sister to the newborn twins -- and the very next day,
she celebrated her second birthday with another delicious fruitsicle cake.