SAN DIEGO (CNS) - Animal care staff at the San Diego Zoo finally got to make a hands-on examination of their 25-day-old giant panda Thursday.
The unnamed cub was deemed healthy, and weighed in at 1 1/2 pounds. Animal handlers had three minutes to look over the cub while its mother, Bai Yun, left their den to eat during the morning.
The cub, Bai Yun's sixth, was born July 29 and to this point had only been visible via a "pandacam" camera set up in the den. The public can view the cub at sandiegozoo.org/pandacam.
The cub, the sex of which has not been determined, vocalized a few times during the examination, demonstrating good lungs, and its heart also sounded strong, according to the zoo.
The zoo's animal care staff has tried to avoid placing any stress on either the cub or Bai Yun. In previous statements, handlers had indicated an initial hands-on check-up wasn't expected for at least another month.
The pair will remain in the den for several months before the cub makes its public debut.
Giant pandas are on loan to the zoo from China, and newborns must be sent to their native country after they turn 3 years old. The species is threatened by loss of habitat, and only 1,600 are believed to exist.