- Created on Thursday, 20 September 2012 21:42
- Written by Imperial Valley News
San Diego, California - The Giant Panda Team at the San Diego Zoo completed another exam on the male giant panda cub born on July 29, 2012. The calm cub didn't make a sound while he was weighed, measured and examined by veterinarians. While being scratched behind his ear, it triggered a kick reflex in his leg that had the staff in the exam room saying "aww."
The cub weighed 4.9 pounds this morning and veterinarians noted that his eyes are almost open now and believe the cub has some vision but it is likely limited to light and shadows. His chest now measures 12.5 inches and his well-fed belly is 14.5 inches around.
The cub's mother, Bai Yun, has started taking the cub out of the den with her into the attached room while she eats bamboo. When Mom and cub are in the den, they can be viewed on the San Diego Zoo Panda Cam at www.sandiegozoo.org/pandacam
Animal care staff has nicknames for the cub, but the San Diego Zoo Global Wildlife Conservancy is taking submissions for the cub's official name through Monday, Sept. 24, on the web page http://www.sandiegozooglobal.org/panda-name
The names must be submitted in Chinese pinyin, which is the official system to transcribe Chinese characters into Latin script, and significance of the name must be included to be considered. The San Diego Zoo follows the Chinese cultural tradition of naming the giant panda after it is 100 days old. The final name of the panda cub will be announced in mid-November.
Giant pandas are on a research loan to the San Diego Zoo from China. As part of this long-term program, the Zoo is also collaborating with the Chinese Academy of Science in studies of behavior, ecology, genetics and conservation of wild pandas living in the Foping Nature Reserve.
Only 1,600 giant pandas are believed to exist in the wild, and the species is primarily threatened by habitat loss. San Diego Zoo Global, in conjunction with Chinese panda experts, is working to support science-based conservation of the species.
The San Diego Zoo Global Wildlife Conservancy is dedicated to bringing endangered species back from the brink of extinction. The work of the Conservancy includes onsite wildlife conservation efforts at the San Diego Zoo, San Diego Zoo Safari Park, San Diego Zoo Institute for Conservation Research, and international field programs in more than 35 countries. In addition, San Diego Zoo Global manages the Anne and Kenneth Griffin Reptile Conservation Center, the Frozen ZooTM and Native Seed Gene Bank, the Keauhou and Maui Hawaii Endangered Bird Conservation Centers, San Clemente Loggerhead Shrike Breeding Facility, Cocha Cashu Biological Research Station, the Desert Tortoise Conservation Center, and a 800-acre biodiversity reserve adjacent to the San Diego Zoo Safari Park. The important conservation and science work of these entities is supported in part by The Foundation of the Zoological Society of San Diego.