Baby Panda at National Zoo Growing Steadily

Baby giant panda

Zookeepers at Smithsonian’s National Zoo weigh the baby giant panda on September 14.  (Erika Bauer/Smithsonian’s National Zoo via AP)

The tiny baby panda born at the National Zoo on August 22 is starting to look like his dad Tian Tian. At four weeks old, the baby now weighs two pounds and has developed markings in a similar pattern to those of his father.

The little tyke still sleeps most of the day, which is normal for a panda of this age. In the next few weeks, he will start to open his eyes.

Watch a video of the baby’s veterinary exam here:

You can follow the progress of the baby giant panda at the National Zoo’s website or with the hashtag #PandaStory on social media.

Learn more about pandas at our giant panda facts page.

Lion Cubs at the National Zoo

The National Zoo in Washington D.C. is host to seven lion cubs!  The first four lion cubs were born to lioness Shera on August 31 while the second three cubs were born to Shera’s sister Naba on September 22.  The cubs made their public debut at the zoo late last week and can now be seen outside everyday around 12:30 pm for about an hour, weather permitting.

Lion cubs at the National Zoo

Lioness and cubs at National Zoo

Lion cub at National Zoo
Photos by Mehgan Murphy, Smithsonian’s National Zoo
(See more photos at the Smithsonian’s Flickr page.)

Get a behind-the-scenes look at the lion cubs from when they were first born to their public debut in the video below:

You can also catch live footage of the lion cubs using the National Zoo’s Lion Cub Cam. (If you don’t want to sign up for their e-newsletter, click the red X on the top right of the video box. You may also need to install a plugin depending on what browser you’re using.)

Rare Clouded Leopard Cubs Born

Clouded leopard cubAgainst all odds, two clouded leopard cubs were born at the National Zoo’s Conservation and Research Center in Virginia.

In captivity, these endangered leopards usually give in to murderous tendencies during the breeding process. Either the male will kill the female when placed together to mate, or if mating is successful, the mother leopard will kill her cubs accidentally or intentionally.

But yesterday, caretakers discovered the two cubs with Jao Chu, the mother leopard. The babies will be hand raised by zookeepers to guarantee their safety and survival.

In the wild, clouded leopards are native to southeast Asia. Their population has dwindled due to hunting for their pelts.

For more information, see: Washington Post

Another Western Lowland Gorilla Born

While zookeepers in San Francisco were training a surrogate mother for the abandoned western lowland gorilla born there last month, another baby gorilla was born at the National Zoo in Washington, DC.  The newborn arrived in full view of spectators and a zookeeper last weekend.

In the wild, western lowland gorillas inhabit West and Central Africa where they are critically endangered.

Baby Gazelle at the National Zoo

Baby dama gazelle

The National Zoo in Washington, DC has announced the birth of a female dama gazelle.  The female joins her mother and several others at the zoo. In the wild, the dama gazelle is critically endangered with only 500 left in the world.

For more info: