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PHOTOS: The National Zoo panda cub finally looks like a panda, and got its first checkup

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The National Zoo's three-week-old giant panda cub got its first exam Sunday, September 13, 2020. (National Zoo)

WASHINGTON (SBG) — The National Zoo's three-week-old giant panda cub got its first exam Sunday.

Panda caretakers were able to weigh the cub, who is just under 1.5 pounds, and give it a quick exam as mom Mei Xiang left the den to eat some bamboo.

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"At a glance, the cub’s wispy fur is growing in nicely," Monday's panda update reads. "Its bright, pink skin still shows in spots on its muzzle, the top of its head, upper back and tail. In another few weeks, its eyes and ear canals will begin to open."

The panda update also says the exam team wasn't able to fit in everything they wanted to since Mei Xiang was only gone for a few moments.

"When Mei Xiang routinely leaves the den for longer periods of time, opportunities to perform more thorough health checks will arise," they write. "During a typical cub exam, the panda team charts the cub’s growth by obtaining its weight and measurements. In the near future, the Zoo’s veterinary team will join us to perform a full medical exam on the cub. We also hope to take a cheek swab soon, which will enable our Center for Conservation Genomics scientists to confirm the cub’s sex via DNA analysis. Outwardly, cubs appear similar at birth, so this is the most accurate way to determine whether we have a male or female."

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