News & Politics

The Baby Panda Is One Month Old

Photograph courtesy of Smithsonian’s National Zoo.

The baby giant panda at Smithsonian’s National Zoo continued its plan to be the only good thing that happened in 2020 by turning one month old Monday. What kind of mischief does a one-month-old baby panda get up to? How about giving Mom a good scare? The as-yet-unnamed scamp startled its mother, Mei Xiang, with a “particularly loud squeal” during a veterinary exam on Saturday, according to an update from Laurie Thompson, the zoo’s assistant curator of giant pandas.

The baby panda weighs a little more than two pounds, Thompson reports, and is more than a foot long if you count its tail (we’ll allow it, baby panda, you absolute unit). Its eyes are still closed, though the left one seems like it’s about to open, and everything the vets poked and prodded and tested appeared to be in order.

The baby panda’s sex is still among the baby panda’s secrets. The zoo took a DNA swab and says it may know in a few weeks. Until then, keep an eye on Panda Cam for more baby panda excitement—we saw it cuddling with Mei Xiang recently and had to summon a great deal of journalistic detachment to click away.

Senior editor

Andrew Beaujon joined Washingtonian in late 2014. He was previously with the Poynter Institute,, and Washington City Paper. His book A Bigger Field Awaits Us: The Scottish Soccer Team That Fought the Great War was published in 2018. He lives in Del Ray.