San Diego Zoo Panda Cub’s First Exam

It was quick -- just three minutes -- but doctors got a good look.

Ken Bohn

GOODBYE, WEEKEND: Usually we like to get the photos and videos we'll coo about and obsess over earlier in the week, but our newest favorite video just happened to arrive on Friday, meaning we'll spend a lot of our weekend revisiting. We're talking about video showing the newest star of the San Diego Zoo, a panda cub born to Bai Yun. Nope, zoo visitors can't see the cub, who is still being cared for by its mother in a private, closely watched space, but to say that thousands of fans grow rapt at every photo posted is an understatement; the zoo's Facebook and Twitter are alight.

MORE FAN LOVE: And the zoo's circuits lit up on Friday, Aug. 24 when it posted the panda cub's first exam. The Aug. 23 exam was a quick three minutes -- everything had to be done while the mother stepped out of her den for a bite of breakfast -- but doctors concluded the panda cub to be healthy, robust, and a strapping 704 grams (or just over a pound and a half). The sex of the cub was not determined during the lickety-split exam.

This is highly watchable, animal fans. Turn the volume up so you can hear the cub's first yowls; they're pretty birdlike, although we imagine they'll become far deeper as it grows into a large, handsome panda adult.

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