National Zoo’s Panda Cub: See How She’s Grown!

As just the second surviving panda cub to be born at the National Zoo, this little girl's come a long way since she entered the world Aug. 23 weighing less than five ounces. See how she's grown!

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As just the second surviving panda cub to be born at the National Zoo, this little girl's come a long way since she entered the world Aug. 23 weighing less than five ounces. See how she's grown! (Composite by NBC Washington.)
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Two days after her birth, zoo vets got their first chance to check out the cub by luring away mama Mei Xiang. The cub weighed in at 4.8 ounces, had good heart and lung sounds, and good signs for intestinal function. (Aug. 25)
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The cub's big brother, Tai Shan (born in July 2005) got the nickname "Butterstick" for being about the size of a stick of butter at birth, and this little one, like all panda cubs, was equally teeny.
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The cub easily fit in the palm of a vet's hand. Her stillborn twin, also a girl, was not formed correctly, vets said. Everyone was relieved to learn this cub was healthy. (Aug. 25)
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It took zoo vets about three weeks to be able to conduct a full exam on the cub -- protective mama Mei Xiang wasn't having it any earlier. Finally, on Sept. 16, Mei headed off to eat some bamboo, and vets had their chance.
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The cub had grown quickly, weighing in at slightly less than two pounds. (Sept. 16)
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Her signature black panda markings had shown up by then, too. (Sept. 16)
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Is she real, or an adorable cartoon character? (Sept. 26)
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At her second full exam 10 days later, she was tipping the scales at more than three pounds. (Sept. 26)
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Keepers deemed her healthy, "wiggly and squirmy." (Sept. 26)
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At nearly five weeks old, the cub was very active and was trying to crawl, but she wasn't quite able to support her own weight yet. (Sept. 26)
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The day after the government shutdown ended, keepers provided a long-awaited update on the cub after three weeks of no news and no panda cam. (Gasp!) She's crossed the five-pound, and her eyes partially opened. (Oct. 17)
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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. (Oct. 17)
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Keepers say she resembles both mom and dad: "...[S]he appears to have eye markings shaped like Mei Xiang's and a back saddle shaped like [dad] Tian Tian's." (Oct. 17)
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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)
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The zoo also provided a now-iconic video of the cub screeching in indignation over having to be measure during her exam. The HORROR! (Oct. 17)
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Sometimes you just have to sleep through an exam. (Oct. 23)
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See? (Oct. 23)
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OK, she didn't sleep forever -- she still had time to wave at the camera. (Oct. 23)
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At two+ months old, the cub's eyes had opened nearly all the way. Vets began sending mama Mei Xiang sent outside for breakfast for up to two hours per day, leaving the cub to nap and be examined by veterinarians. (Oct. 29)
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The cub (still an expert waver) weighed 7.7 pounds at about nine weeks old. (Oct. 29)
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Now that the cub is getting more mobile, mama Mei Xiang has started bringing her out of the den for short treks into the indoor enclosures. (Nov. 15)
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Over the weekend of Nov. 16-17, the cub 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. Oh, well. Baby steps. (Nov. 15)
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The cub now weighs more than 10 pounds and will be named at 100 days of life during a ceremony Dec. 1. (Nov. 15)
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