- Created on Tuesday, 09 October 2012 17:00
- Written by IVN
San Diego, California - This morning at the San Diego Zoo, the giant panda cub was calm but squirmy while staff took measurements and examined him.
The black-and-white bear now measures 11 inches (28 cm) from the base of his head to the tip of his tail. His overall length, from the tip of his nose to the tip of his tail, is approximately 20 inches (53cm). He weighed 7.3 pounds (3.3 kilograms) on Tuesday morning.
Beth Bicknese, senior veterinarian for the San Diego Zoo, noted that she could feel his teeth just below his gums. While pandas have dentition similar to other carnivores, their molars are larger and flatter than other bear species. The shape of their teeth is an evolutionary adaption for their diet of bamboo, which is a hard grass that they grind between their teeth before swallowing.
Panda cubs will nurse from their mothers as their primary source of nutrition and are not expected to start eating bamboo until they are about a year old.
The giant panda cub and his mother, Bai Yun, can be viewed on PandaCam www.sandiegozoo.org/pandacam 24 hours a day.
The San Diego Zoos giant pandas are on a research loan 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.