Cuteness abounds: Baby panda gets one-month checkup

Precious baby panda gets one-month checkup

WASHINGTON — The Smithsonian National Zoo’s baby panda is one month old and he, or she, just had its first checkup.

Doctors still don’t know if the cub is a boy or a girl, but within a few weeks, a DNA sample taken Monday should solve the mystery, Smithonsian officials said.

Both male and female panda cubs look similar after birth so DNA is the most accurate way to determine gender.

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Veterinarians were able to perform the checkup while mom Mei Xiang left the den.

The baby is still small, weighing just over 2 pounds and measuring 13.4 inches, officials said.

But the cub will grow, eventually weighing between 155 and 275 pounds depending on if it is female or male.

Its eyes are still closed but could open soon as one eye is not as sealed as the other. Normally, they open between six and eight weeks after birth.

The doctors also checked out the heart, lungs, stomach and limbs, saying the cub appears to be healthy and strong.

The baby also made its feelings known through grunts and squeals, with one being loud enough to get Mei Xiang’s attention, officials said.