Thursday, September 6, 2012
It's a boy!
The San Diego Zoo announced today that the giant panda born July 29 is male, ending a five-week gender mystery.
Animal care staff have only been able to examine the unnamed cub a few times since his birth, and have mostly viewed him over a camera set up in the den he shares with his mother, Bai Yun.
Veterinarian Meg Sutherland Smith gave him his third examination today, determined he was male and found that he weighed a full pound more than he did last week. He is now up to 3.2 pounds.
He weighs less than Bai Yun's previous cubs at that age, but the zoo said all indications are that he is healthy.
The endangered pandas are loaned by China to zoos in the U.S. for research purposes, and their native country can request that offspring be returned after they turn 3 years old. This cub is Bai Yun's sixth.
Zoo officials also said they will soon announce details for the public to help name the cub, which can be seen online at sandiegozoo.org/pandacam.
Zoo officials believe there are only 1,600 pandas left in the wild.