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Video: Baby panda gets the tickle treatment during medical exam at San Diego Zoo

Panda Cub’s Eyes Begin to Open During Fourth Exam at San Diego Zoo

Photo: Ken Bohn / San Diego Zoo

The panda cub at the San Diego Zoo is starting to take a peek at the great, big world around him. During an exam on Wednesday morning Sept. 12, 2012, animal care staff could see the cub’s eyes beginning to open.

The San Diego Zoo released a video of its new baby panda's fourth medical exam. Included: a fluffy-head tape-measuring situation, and belly tickles. It's technical, you guys.

The giant panda cub was born at the zoo on July 29, and started to open its eyes during the Sept. 12 exam. According to a zoo release, the fourth exam shows the 45-day old male cub on track, with his progress indicating that he is nursing well from his mother:

  • It will take about another 20 days for the eyes to be fully open.
  • The cub now weighs 4 pounds (1.8 kilograms).
  • The cub now measures a bit more than 16 inches long (41.5 centimeters).
  • Animal care staff are pleased with his growth and his weight gain.
  • His abdominal girth = 11.8 inches.
  • His chest girth = 12 inches.respectively

The San Diego Zoo follows the Chinese tradition of naming a giant panda after it is 100-days-old, and will soon be taking name suggestions for the male cub. To suggest a name:

  • Entries accepted Sept. 17-24
  • Suggested names must be submitted in Chinese pinyin -- the official system to transcribe Chinese characters into Latin script.
  • The significance of the name must be included to be considered. 
  • Suggest a name on the San Diego Zoo Global Wildlife Conservancy website

The newest addition is Bai Yun's sixth delivery at the San Diego Zoo, breaking the record for the most giant panda cubs born at a breeding facility outside of China.

The San Diego Zoo and China -- collaborating in 12-year research loan of two giant pandas, Bai Yun and Shi Shi -- aimed at ecology, and understanding natural giant panda behavior, says the San Diego Zoo.

Until mama and baby make a public debut, keep the glory of pandamania alive with your spy-eye fixed to the Panda Cam.

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