National Zoo’s panda cub doing well, bonding with mom

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

WASHINGTON – The Smithsonian National Zoo’s Giant Panda cub is doing well and is just as vocal as ever. The cub turns two weeks old Friday.

Loud, squealing grunts could be heard on the National Zoo’s panda cam Wednesday morning as Mei Xiang licked the cub cradled in her lap. Mei gave birth to the panda on Aug. 23.

A zoo spokesperson says keepers offered Mei frozen bamboo shoots and sugar cane this morning, but she wasn’t interested. She did, however, drink some water sweetened with apple juice.

It’s typical of bears in the wild not to eat or drink in the days after giving birth. After the birth of Tai Shan in 2005, Mei didn’t eat for 16 days.

Since the new cub’s birth, Mei has left her den only twice. The Giant Panda mom still is intently focused on caring for her cub.

Below is a video of the panda cub on the sixth day of its life.

Check out the pandas’ latest activity with the zoo’s panda cam. Also, view photos of the panda on Flickr.

Follow @WTOP and @WTOPliving on Twitter.

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