Panda cub at National Zoo is growing

Chinese Culture

Giant Panda Cub In this photo provided by the Smithsonian’s National Zoo, taken Sept. 14, 2015, shows the baby Giant Panda, born Aug. 22, 2015, seen in Washington as keepers weighed the giant panda cub. (Erika Bauer/Smithsonian’s National Zoo via AP)

The four-week-old giant panda cub at the Smithsonian’s National Zoo in Washington, D.C. now weighs nearly three pounds and is starting to look like a panda — specifically, his dad.

That’s nearly eight times what he weighed at birth on Aug. 22.

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The cub also has much more distinct black-and-white markings. Zoo officials say the markings on his back closely resemble those of his father, Tian Tian.

The panda and a twin were born on Aug 22, but the smaller of the pair was visibly weaker and died four days later despite constant care efforts at the zoo.

Zoo officials say the cub is sleeping through much of the day, which his normal. His eyes will begin to open in the next few weeks.

Turns out the little fellow, now 4 1/2 weeks old, weighs 2.95 pounds, more than his older siblings did at his age. Bao Bao weighed approximately 2 pounds, and Tai Shan weighed 2.6 pounds when they were that age.

The cub has an excellent range of motion and is able to push up onto his front legs, the zoo said in a release. He has been spotted moving around on his front legs, but he’s not yet walking.

The zoo said that on Sept 19, he reacted to the sound of a door, which shows his hearing is developed. The cub’s eyes are still closed, but he’s expected to open them within a month.

Story compiled with information from The Associated Press and China Daily.