People.com Lifestyle Pets The National Zoo's 8-Week-Old Panda Cub Is Getting Feistier by the Day The cub, born on Aug. 21, is starting to explore his surroundings and go on field trips outside the den with his mom By Kelli Bender Kelli Bender Kelli Bender is the Pets Editor for PEOPLE Digital and PEOPLE magazine. She has been with the PEOPLE brand for more than eight years, working as a writer/producer across PEOPLE's Lifestyle, Features, and Entertainment verticals before taking on her current role. Kelli is also an editor on PEOPLE's Stories to Make You Smile and serves as an editorial lead on PEOPLE's World's Cutest Rescue Dog Contest and Pet Product Awards. Before joining PEOPLE, Kelli helped AOL and Whalerock launch a pet lifestyle site called PawNation. She is a pet parent to a cat named Wallace, and her professional and personal devotion to animals has taken her to three dog weddings ... so far. People Editorial Guidelines Published on October 16, 2020 04:51 PM Share Tweet Pin Email It's been two months since this sweet little nugget joined the world. The Smithsonian's National Zoo's new panda cub recently hit the 8-week mark and is gaining more weight and attitude by the minute. "He was much more feisty yesterday than he has been for past exams and barked as he was being measured. Since his last weigh-in Oct. 7, he gained a pound," the Washington D.C. zoo wrote in a recap of the cub's most recent checkup. "Now, he tips the scales at 2.47 kilograms (5.4 pounds). From the tip of his nose to the base of his tail, he measured 16.5 inches. His biggest gain, however, was around his midsection. He went from a 13.7-inch abdominal girth to 15.9 inches—a 2.2-inch increase!" The plump little panda, who has yet to be named, was born on Aug. 21 to Mei Xiang — who also gave birth to famous cubs Tai Shan, 15, Bao Bao, 7, and Bei Bei, 5 — and has been progressing splendidly ever since. The cub's success is thanks in big part to his mom, who has been a pro parent to all of her cubs. Mei Xiang has been keeping a close eye on her new baby and is just starting to give the cub a little freedom, letting him crawl around the den and go on brief field trips with her outside their behind-the-scenes enclosure. When the cub isn't on the move he can be found eating diluted apple juice popsicles and exploring his surroundings with his newly opened ears and eyes.