Your morning adorable: San Diego Zoo's giant panda cub does a push-up
The San Diego Zoo's giant panda cub was given a clean bill of health in his sixth veterinary exam, performed Thursday. The zoo's senior veterinarian, Dr. Tracy Clippinger, said the cub's eyes and ears are now fully opened, and she expects him to begin crawling over the next two to six weeks. He weighs 7.7 pounds and measures 21.3 inches in length.
In keeping with Chinese tradition, the cub won't be named until after he's 100 days old -- and like Thailand's Chiang Mai Zoo did when deciding upon a name for its resident giant panda cub, the San Diego Zoo is turning to the public for suggestions. (The Chiang Mai Zoo's cub was ultimately given the name Lin Ping, which means "forest of ice" in Chinese and also references a river in Thailand, the Ping, and the name of the cub's mother, Lin Hui.)
Beginning Saturday, San Diego Zoo visitors will have the opportunity to submit name suggestions at the Giant Panda Research Station. According to the zoo's blog, names should "be in Chinese (Pinyin), have an English translation, be symbolic in meaning" and must be submitted between Oct. 10-19. For those who can't visit in person, a link will be added to the zoo's website to allow suggestions to be submitted online.
Once the submission period is over, keepers, veterinarians, scientists and other zoo staff will select their favorite names, which then must be approved by the Chinese Wildlife Conservation Assn. That done, the public will vote to choose between the name finalists on the zoo's website and Facebook fan page. The winning name will be announced Nov. 17.
-- Lindsay Barnett
Photo: The cub flexes the muscles in its arms as it lifts its chest and head during an exam Thursday. Credit: Ken Bohn / Associated Press