New Panda Picture: 'Little Gift' Gets Bigger
Newly named Xiao Liwu gets his 13th checkup.
CREDIT: Tammy Spratt, San Diego Zoo
The newest panda cub at the San Diego Zoo got another checkup this week — his first since being named Xiao Liwu, meaning "Little Gift."
The pudgy cub weighed in at 10.3 pounds (4.6 kg) and measured 25.1 inches (63.7 cm) long, a pound and 2 inches bigger than last week. In another development, Xiao Liwu has four baby teeth that have broken through his gums, veterinarians at the zoo report.
Though the cub was born on July 29, his name was only announced in a ceremony earlier this week. In keeping with a Chinese cultural tradition, the zoo waits to name new cubs until they are at least 100 days old. The name Xiao Liwu was chosen by popular vote, edging out five other suggestions, including Qi Ji (Miracle), Yu Di (Raindrop), Da Hai (Big Ocean or Big Sea), Yong Er (Brave Son) and Shui Long (Water Dragon).
Xiao Liwu is getting more and more active, and zoo officials said he kept crawling onto his caretakers' laps during his exam Tuesday (Nov. 13). Though his wriggling makes him more difficult to measure, the caretakers are pleased that he is comfortable with them.
"He's really getting some skill sets with his legs," senior veterinarian P.K. Robbins said in a video statement after the exam. "His rear legs haven't quite caught up with his front legs, but he's starting to climb and sit up and do some things that are pretty impressive for a little guy."
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