ROUGH CUT -- NO REPORTER NARRATION
STORY: Look out Royal Baby -- Washington, D. C. now has a panda cub of it's own that's all the buzz.
As the U. S. anxiously awaits the naming of the newest panda member of the Smithsonian National Zoo family, mom Mei Xiang spends time with her cub, nuzzling him/her (the sex is still not known) and scooping it up in her mouth.
"The tiny cub has a round belly, which indicates that it is nursing well. The cub also has a great set of lungs! There is a lot of squawking until Mei carefully picks her cub up and cradles it," a statement from the Zoo said.
Veterinarians are keeping their distance during this delicate time, recently offering Xiang diluted apple juice, sweet potato, and pear to eat.
Mom wasn't too keen about the food, only licking the sweet potato and drinking some juice, since female giant pandas don't eat or drink much in the first weeks after giving birth. But this, they say, is a sign she's doing well.
"Keepers and veterinarians continue to monitor Mei Xiang and her cub visually and auditorily. They will will allow Mei Xiang's behaviors direct how they access the cub. All visual indications tell animal care staff that both bears are thriving."
According to the Smithsonian Institution, it'll be two to three weeks before they know the cub's sex. At birth, the baby cub weighed in at 4.8 ounces, roughly the weight of a stick of butter.