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Veterinary exam reveals San Diego Zoo’s giant panda cub is a healthy male

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The San Diego Zoo reports that its infant giant panda cub, born last month to Bai Yun, a female on loan to the zoo from China, recently underwent its first veterinary exam. ‘It was pretty challenging, trying to crawl into the den and get the cub,’ senior keeper Kathy Hawk wrote on the zoo’s blog. ‘[Bai Yun] had done an extremely good job of threading/weaving bamboo to make a nest!’

According to Hawk, the fact that the infant had just finished a round of nursing before being taken to the exam room was fortuitous because, apparently, a full panda cub is a calm panda cub. The exam took about five minutes in total, including the time needed to take a few measurements. (The cub weighed 2.8 pounds and measured 14.7 inches in length.)

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Zoo veterinarian Dr. Jeff Pye pronounced the baby healthy -- but most importantly for panda-watchers, he was also able to ascertain its gender. The cub was found to be male, joining older brother Mei Sheng. Bai Yun and her partner, Gao Gao, also have three older daughters, Hua Mei, Su Lin and Zhen Zhen.

He has not yet been named.

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-- Lindsay Barnett


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