News & Politics

Here’s Your Daily Dose of Panda Cub

Surveillance video from National Zoo shows that newborn panda cub is still tiny and squeaky.

Mei Xiang and her newborn cub were up all night. (Note the time stamp.) Photograph courtesy of the Smithsonian's National Zoo.

Perhaps as a salve to this morning’s sad horse news, the National Zoo offered an update about a much different specimen just a few hours later: The newborn giant panda cub is doing fine.

The zoo posted a brief YouTube clip taken off its round-the-clock panda cameras showing female giant panda Mei Xiang mothering her six-day-old cub. In the video, the cub, which still seems ways away from taking on a more ursine form, stands a few inches from Mei Xiang while an insect skitters across a pile of hay. Also, the cub can be heard squeaking throughout the video until Mei Xiang picks it up using her mouth. And that’s all good according to panda researchers.

“You’ll see the tiny cub has a round belly which indicates to the panda team that it is nursing well,” the zoo writes. “Also, the cub has a great set of lungs.” Last year’s panda cub did not.

Staff Writer

Benjamin Freed joined Washingtonian in August 2013 and covers politics, business, and media. He was previously the editor of DCist and has also written for Washington City Paper, the New York Times, the New Republic, Slate, and BuzzFeed. He lives in Adams Morgan.