Panda cub update: Cub has a big set of lungs

New giant panda mom Mei Xiang and her cub. (Smithsonian\'s National Zoo flickr)

WASHINGTON — The new panda cub at the National Zoo has a great set of lungs and is nursing well.

Zoo officials say new mom Mei Xiang gently placed her new cub on the floor of her den early on Thursday morning and panda cam watchers got a great view of the cub and its round belly, the zoo said in a news release.

For panda fans who weren’t watching at 3:37 a.m., the zoo uploaded a video of the action.

The zoo says the cub was squawking a lot until Mei carefully picked it back up and cradled it.

The zoo says Mei is very aware of keepers when they go into her den to feed her. On Thursday, mama panda drank 56 ounces, which officials say is a good sign that she is doing well.

Keepers and veterinarians continue to monitor the mother and cub, but allow Mei Xiang to call the shots on how they handle the cub. Inside the den, Mei and the cub stay very close.

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