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WATCH: Baby panda at National Zoo starts to venture out from den into main enclosure

panda cub update 8-weeks-old 10.19.20.jpg

The baby cub, now eight weeks old, is starting to pack on the pounds, according to the Smithsonian National Zoo, and is not nursing from his momma Mei Xiang quite as frequently. (Smithsonian National Zoo)

It's been so exciting to watch the baby panda cub grow physically and gaining a sense of independence.

The baby cub, now eight weeks old, is starting to pack on the pounds, according to the Smithsonian National Zoo, and is not nursing from his momma Mei Xiang quite as frequently.

He has started to grow more of his thick, wooly fur, which has allowed him to regulate his own body temperatures, allowing him to gain even more independence from his mom.

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With that sense of independence, comes a sense of curiosity and the cub was seen taking a "weekend field trip" with Mei Xiang outside of the den and into the main enclosure for the first time this past weekend, the zoo says.

While Mei Xiang has only been bringing the cub out into the main enclosures for just a few moments lately, the zoo says it expects those visits to increase in frequency and duration over the next few weeks.

The cub has also been practicing his crawling skills, "exercising his muscles and improving his coordination will help him scoot around in the coming weeks," the zoo says.

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He is expected to take his own steps at around three months old, the zoo adds.

For now, we'll all enjoy his little trips outside of the den and his cute scooting abilities!



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