The San Diego Zoo’s panda cub, Xiao Liwu, was eager to play with a plastic ball during his 18th exam this morning and made it clear that he did not want to share his new toy by holding onto the ball tightly. Panda keepers gave the cub the new toy to test his coordination and encourage him to play with new objects.
The 20-week-old panda weighed 14.5 pounds this morning when he was brought in for his weekly veterinary exam and is on track with other giant pandas born at the San Diego Zoo.
Only 1,600 giant pandas are believed to exist in the wild, and the species is primarily threatened by habitat loss. San Diego Zoo Global, in conjunction with giant panda experts from the People’s Republic of China, continues to work on science-based panda conservation programs at the Zoo and in China.
CONTACT:SAN DIEGO ZOO GLOBAL
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Photo taken on Dec. 18, 2012, by Ken Bohn, San Diego Zoo.