Erica Jones

National Zoo's Panda Cub Opening His Eyes

The National Zoo's giant panda cub has reached an important milestone: Bei Bei is opening his eyes. 

Bei Bei, who is almost two months old, is getting more active and rambunctious, officials at the National Zoo said Thursday. 

The baby panda now weighs in at 6.38 pounds -- almost a full pound heavier since his last weigh-in Oct. 8. He also received his first vaccination.

Before the exam, Don Neiffer, the National Zoo's chief veterinarian, calmed the tiny cub by massaging two pressure points at the base of his skull. (Check out the adorable video below.)


Yesterday, before Bei Bei’s full veterinary exam our chief veterinarian Dr. Don Neiffer settled the little panda cub by...

Posted by Smithsonian’s National Zoo and Conservation Biology Institute on Friday, October 9, 2015

Bei Bei's mother, Mei Xiang, has been bringing him out of the den and into a larger indoor enclosure, but Bei Bei cannot go to an outdoor exhibit until he is fully vaccinated.

Meanwhile, big sister Bao Bao has also been more active. National Zoo officials say she has been roaming through her parents' yards and enjoying the variety of trees for climbing.

Bao Bao also had an important first this week: her first routine veterinary blood draw. The two-year-old got a honey water treat for participating in the checkup.

The David M. Rubenstein family Giant Panda Habitat has been closed to the public since Aug. 20, and will remain closed until further notice to provide quiet. Bei Bei is expected to make his public debut early next year.

Contact Us