SAN DIEGO (CNS) - The eyes and ears of the 9-week-old giant panda at the San Diego Zoo are fully open now, veterinarians said Thursday after the cub's weekly examination.
The unnamed male shows an increased behavioral response to his environment, making it appear that his vision and hearing are developing normally, according to the zoo. It takes about three weeks for a giant panda cub to fully open its eyes and ears.
The zoo's animal staff said his mother, Bai Yun, will probably help the cub develop his senses by cleaning and licking him, moving him around the den and taking him into the other areas in her suite of rooms at the Giant Panda Research Station.
"As the cub gets stronger and bigger, Bai Yun's way of handling the cub will change," said Megan Owen, conservation program manager at the San Diego Zoo Institute for Conservation Research. "Because everything Bai Yun does (as a mother) has been perfect, we can say that this is probably the best possible way for a panda mother to handle a cub of this age."
The cub's growth -- he now weighs 6.6 pounds -- is comparable to Bai Yun's previous offspring, according to his handlers.
The cub remains off exhibit for now, but he can be viewed on the zoo's Panda-Cam at sandiegozoo.org/pandacam. His name will be announced 100 days after birth, as dictated by Chinese tradition.
Conservation groups list the giant panda as endangered, and the zoo estimates that only about 1,600 are left in the wild.
U.S. Sen. Kamala Harris is scheduled Friday to tour the Otay Mesa Immigration and Detention Facility, where she will visit migrant mothers who were separated from their children.
As the weather heats up, County Animal Services says you may see more rattlesnakes out and about. The department has already received 656 rattlesnake calls since the beginning of the year, 100 more than last year at this time. Some 30 calls came in since last Wednesday.
A bleeding, gravely injured man banged on the door of a Lemon Grove home in an apparent last-gasp plea for help, and his death a short time later prompted sheriff's deputies to launch a homicide investigation, authorities said Friday.
High pressure over Northern Mexico will warm temperatures Friday. Coastal areas cooler due to weak onshore flow. Excessive heat warning in effect for San Diego County deserts through Friday evening.
Two dogs attacked a woman and her toddler son on an East County roadside Thursday, leaving them seriously injured, authorities said.
Come into Battle Axe and you are sure to learn a thing or two. The "axperts" will teach you two-handed throws and a little humility.
A local trash collector found a tiny treasure – and a friend for life - on the job recently. Michael Cabrera was finishing up his shift one night when he found a kitten trapped in his truck.
San Diego Border Patrol agents, who are enforcing the Justice Department’s ‘zero tolerance policy,’ have become targets of abuse over social media as the immigration debate continues.