Sshh! He can hear you: National Zoo’s baby giant panda turns 8 weeks old

Giant panda Mei Xiang’s little one turned 8 weeks old Friday, and the National Zoo in D.C. got an earful when staff examined him.

When mom went out to grab a yummy fruitsicle — a frozen treat made from diluted apple juice — staff came in to give the little guy an exam.

He opened his eyes last week, and this week, zookeepers found that his ears were open, too. The cub made a sound at the sound of the door opening; and when his carers were calling out his measurements, he turned his head to see where the sound was coming from. Amazing!

“He was much more feisty yesterday than he has been for past exams and barked as he was being measured,” the zoo said in an update.

The cub also gained a pound since last week, weighing 5.4 pounds and measuring 16.5 inches from his nose to the base of his tail.

His biggest gain, aside from an enormous gain in cuteness, is in his midsection. He went from a 13.7-inch waist to 15.9 inches.

“Mei Xiang has started carrying her cub to the door and several feet out into the enclosure. Now that he’s getting older, she will start to bring him on these ‘field trips’ more frequently,” the zoo said.

Watch a video of the baby cub below. (11/10 would watch again)

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Abigail Constantino

Abigail Constantino started her journalism career writing for a local newspaper in Fairfax County, Virginia. She is a graduate of American University and The George Washington University.

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