Pand-aww: Giant panda Mei Xiang’s cub begins to open eyes

Mei Xiang’s panda cub. (Courtesy Smithsonian National Zoo/Marty Dearie)

Giant panda Mei Xiang’s 6-week-old cub is beginning to open its eyes, the Smithsonian’s National Zoo keepers said in an update Friday.

During a weekly checkup, keeper Marty Dearie described the cub “as wide awake, alert and very vocal while we took its measurements!”

The cub now weighs 3.6 pounds, and is 14 inches from nose to tail tip.

“Just like all babies, giant pandas go through spurts of steadiness and growth. All in all, we are very happy with the progress it is making — it is gaining weight and very active,” Dearie said. “One new and exciting development is that the cub’s eyes are beginning to open!”

Dearie said that the cub’s eyes will be fully open at 8 weeks. After that will come the cub’s ears.

The cub’s DNA is still being analyzed to determine its sex.

See video of the cub crawling below.

And get panda updates from the Smithsonian online.

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Will Vitka

William Vitka is a Digital Writer/Editor for He's been in the news industry for over a decade. Before joining WTOP, he worked for CBS News, Stuff Magazine, The New York Post and wrote a variety of books—about a dozen of them, with more to come.

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